Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Tropical Storm Michael forms in the Caribbean

Chance of tropical depression or tropical storm developing in Gulf has increased Chance of tropical depression or tropical storm developing in Gulf has increased
Ellis Copeland | 11 October, 2018, 08:15

If it becomes a tropical storm as predicted, Tropical Depression Fourteen is expected to bring squally, wet weather to South Florida beginning later today, according to Robert Garcia, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The Hurricane Center's forecast calls for Michael to become a hurricane later Monday and make landfall Wednesday with 100 miles per hour winds, which would make it a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.

After landfall, Michael is forecast to move northeastward over Georgia and the Carolinas, where recovery from Hurricane Florence is ongoing.

"This storm has the potential to bring devastating impacts to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend and every family must be prepared".

Scott had already announced Sunday morning he would declare a state of emergency due to the storm. He also activated 500 Florida Guard troops ahead of the storm and has a further 5,000 on standby.

The storm moved north on a path between Cozumel in southeastern Mexico and the western tip of Cuba, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

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Michael is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 7 inches over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize through Tuesday. Fearing that the natural calamity could become a Category 2 hurricane with winds up to 100 miles per hour by the time it makes landfall next Wednesday, Scott has mobilized some 500 National Guard troops to assist with planning and logistics.

But it's so big, people about 175 miles away from the center are getting hit with tropical-storm-force winds (which have increased to at least 60 mph).

Michael was lashing western Cuba late Monday morning with heavy rains and strong winds, according to the hurricane center.

A hurricane watch has been declared for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida. The storm is most likely to make a direct strike on Florida's Gulf Coast, but coastal Alabama and MS also may deal with direct storm effects and should monitor forecasts.

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic mayor of Tallahassee who is vying to succeed Scott as the state's governor, has called off campaign events on Monday and Tuesday to focus on storm preparation, CNN reported. The National Hurricane Center expected Michael to become a hurricane later in the day.

Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season.

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