Monday, 10 December, 2018

Florida, Alabama bracing for 'monstrous' Hurricane Michael

FIRST TO ALERT Tracking Michael FIRST TO ALERT Tracking Michael Tropical track for Michael as of Monday Morning WTVM
Sandy Nunez | 10 October, 2018, 17:42

For storm information specific to your area outside the United States, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK -- At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Michael was located near latitude 21.2 North, longitude 84.9 West. Michael is moving toward the north near 7 miles per hour (11 km/h). All of central Georgia is at risk for damaging winds.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Gil Ziffer warned that if the storm hits Florida's capital, there would be significant tree damage and power outages. Up to a foot of rainfall (30 cm) is forecast for some areas.

With maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour while moving north at 9 miles per hour, Michael is now "bringing hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall to western Cuba" as storm surge and hurricane warnings have been issued for the northeastern area of the Gulf Coast.

The governor issued the warning after a briefing by Pasco's emergency personnel at the county's emergency operations center, the hotspot for county officials and first responders during and after a storm.

The NHC said Michael could still grow stronger before it reaches the Florida coast. The partial shutdown ahead of Michael helped push oil prices slightly higher on Tuesday. It's forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades, and it will send life-threatening surges of ocean water into coastal areas along the gulf. Forecasters also warned spinoff tornadoes would also be a threat. Mandatory evacuations were under way in coastal areas, with 1,250 National Guard soldiers aiding the process and more than 4,000 troops placed on standby, Scott tweeted.

President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House the country was very well prepared for the hurricane, adding it was much bigger than had been expected.

Read David Davis' letter on Brexit to all Tory MPs
Davis added that it was "in the party's interest and the national interest" to "reset" the UK's negotiating strategy "immediately".

State offices, schools and universities were to close on Tuesday through to the end of the week in Panhandle counties.

All day, long lines wrapped around fuel stations, as people filled up their cars and gas cans. Those who stayed emptied grocery store shelves of water and other supplies.

In anticipation of travel impacts, Southwest has implemented a flexible rebooking policy for customers scheduled to fly to or from several cities in the storm's path this week, including New Orleans, Panama City, Florida and Pensacola, Florida Tuesday through Thursday. A Storm Surge Warning is now up for the entire Big Bend coast as well.

Bay County Public Works placed sand for bagging at Pete Edwards Field at 7300 McElvey Rd., Panama City Beach and at the Deer Point Dam located on the NW side.

Since the storm will spend two to three days over the Gulf of Mexico, which has warm water and favourable atmospheric conditions, "there is a real possibility that Michael will strengthen to a major hurricane before landfall", Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the Miami-based storm forecasting hub, wrote in an advisory. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or dangerous.A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.Interests elsewhere across the southeastern United States should monitor the progress of Michael.For storm information specific to your area in the United States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. This is enough to cause some short-lived flash flooding prolems on Thursday, and possibly a some river flooding on Friday.

In what appeared to be an off-script moment, Scott described the dynamics of storm surge: It moves in fast and leaves just as quickly, taking with it anything that isn't anchored.