Hurricane Michael now a Major Storm
Hurricane Warning remains in effect for all of Coastal Northwest Florida
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Coastal Alabama
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Okaloosa/Walton Line to Anclote River, Florida
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida & Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay
Tracking Hurricane Michael:
The dangerous category 4 storm is less than 200 miles south of Panama City Florida.
So, what can we expect along our slice of the Gulf Coast? Wind and waves increasing today along with bands of windswept rain, especially in Baldwin County.
As the storm closes in on on the coast today, we'll see dangerous, life-threatening storm surge and large surf of up to 10 feet in Baldwin County, 10-15 waves along the Santa Rosa and Okaloosa County beaches.
Bands of windswept rain will continue to blow in from the Gulf along with dangerous hurricane force winds closer to the center of Michael.
On the current forecast track, the center of the storm will approach the Gulf Coast this afternoon, making landfall around 3 pm CDT.
Our latest thinking on a projected path would put the most likely landfall close to Panama City Beach, Florida.
Remember, the cone of uncertainty can shift (as the forecast track can) and the impacts of a tropical system, especially a powerful hurricane, can extend beyond the lines of the cone.
And with a hurricane like this, the wind field is much larger than the rain shield so tropical storm force wind will be felt well away from the center. In other words, don't let your guard down!
Michael will make landfall and move through the Florida Panhandle at a relatively fast pace and that will keep the rainfall amounts in check.
However, portions of Northwest Florida could receive rain totals of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated amounts of 12 inches.