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The National Hurricane Center states it’s still too soon to forecast an exact point of landfall or impact for Michael, but the northern Gulf Coast should brace for possible dangerous storm surge, rain and wind impacts by mid-week.

PANAMA CITY — Residents in the Florida Panhandle and Gulf Coast should check their hurricane kits, as the season’s newest storm, Michael, will likely hit the region Wednesday as a hurricane.


Current National Hurricane Center projections show the storm making landfall somewhere between Port St. Joe and Apalachicola at around 1 p.m. Wednesday at a Category 2 storm — with up to 100mph sustained winds. Tropical Storm-force winds could arrive in Bay County as soon as Tuesday night. Some models, however, show the storm taking a straighter track with Panama City in its sights.

On Sunday, Gov. Rick Scott declared a State of Emergency for the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region. The State Emergency Operations Center will activated to Level 2 Sunday morning, which means the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) has activated, enhancing coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies, according to a press release.

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1 minute ago, Georgia Peach said:


Is he gonna sing the weather? Greast.

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ATLANTA — A fast-moving tropical cyclone strengthened into Hurricane Michael on Monday and threatened to strike Florida as soon as Wednesday, imperiling a vast stretch of the state with little notice.

The system’s risks also extend hundreds of miles inland, and it is poised to bombard parts of the South and Mid-Atlantic as a tropical storm, endangering regions still recovering from Hurricane Florence’s deluge last month.

In an advisory on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center suggested the storm would make landfall on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

“This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous,” Gov. Rick Scott of Florida said at a televised news conference in Southport, Fla., just north of Panama City.


“Michael can still change direction and impact any part of the state,” said Mr. Scott, who warned that some areas could receive up to a foot of rain, and that destructive winds were likely to hit both along the coast, in places like Panama City, and inland, including Tallahassee, the capital. Local officials were considering whether to order evacuations from some communities.


Within hours of Mr. Scott’s appearance in Southport, the hurricane center said the storm was about 140 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, just above the threshold to be classified as a hurricane. The storm was moving north at 7 miles per hour, leading to watches and warnings in Cuba, Mexico and the United States.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Pinar del Rio, a province in western Cuba, and a hurricane watch was posted from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

“Steady to rapid strengthening is forecast during the next day or so, and Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane by Tuesday or Tuesday night,” the hurricane center said Monday.


If the storm does make landfall as expected, it would be the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the mainland United States so far this year. Although Hurricane Florence once appeared likely to strike with catastrophic winds, it ultimately made its landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.

Storm preparations began over the weekend in Florida, as the weather system rapidly became a tropical depression and then a tropical storm. And as the hours passed, the forecast worsened for a system that just days ago was uncertain even to form into this Atlantic hurricane season’s 13th named storm.

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