Hurricane Michael now a major storm, possible CAT 4 at landfall

(image: WPMI) Hurricane Michael now a major storm at category 3
  • Hurricane Warning has been issued 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 strong category 3 storm is less than 300 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 either this afternoon or tonight.

As the storm closes in on Wednesday, 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 Wednesday.

Our latest thinking on a projected path would put the most likely landfall close to Panama City Beach, Florida Wednesday afternoon. 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. With that in mind, do not lower your guard!

Tropical systems can shift and wobble and alter course. For now, local impacts include wind-driven showers today and Wednesday in addition to dangerous surf and high rip current risk conditions. The impacts of rain, storm surge and tornadoes will likely be far more intense east of where the storm makes landfall.

Portions of Northwest Florida could receive rain totals of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated amounts of 12 inches. That kind of rain can lead to life threatening flash floods.