Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Storm strengthens to hurricane, tracks away from Cayman

Storm strengthens to hurricane, tracks away from Cayman

By late Monday morning, Michael had become a hurricane, and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center now officially expect it to be a major Category 3 by Wednesday.

Now ranked as a category-1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale, Michael could grow into a category-3 storm, with the power to uproot trees, block roads and knock out power for days by the time it hits Florida on Wednesday.

Meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center say they are closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Michael as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico. The weather advisory warned of potential mudslides in Cuba and life-threatening flash floods for areas of Florida, the mid-Atlantic states and ranging up to southern New England. It was forecast to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, potentially bringing heavy rain and strong winds to SC late Wednesday and throughout the day Thursday.

The Florida Panhandle is on alert as Tropical Storm Michael works its way to the northern part of the Sunshine State.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in more than 20 counties, and advised Gulf Coast residents to prepare for possible evacuation orders.

Gillum said Monday that officials initially thought, "we will have outages and it will be inconvenient". Once the storm and cold front pass, it now looks like we'll see some actual cooler air with highs next weekend expected to stay in the 60s.

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.

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A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide state of emergency, saying on Twitter it was "in anticipation of wide-spread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high winds & heavy rain associated with Hurricane Michael".

The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage last month.

Authorities earlier ordered residents of northwest Florida to leave their homes ahead of Hurricane Michael.

According to the NHC, Michael will likely make landfall early Wednesday morning, and is "forecast to be a unsafe major hurricane".

Tropical Storm Michael is seen in the Gulf of Mexico in this NOAA GOES-East satellite image taken Monday. Tropical storm warnings are posted for the Isle of Youth in Cuba and the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel.

In Florida, state offices, schools and universities were set to close Tuesday through the end of the week in panhandle counties. He added, "Today it is about life and safety". That's when Michael will be moving through our area, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds. The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, an industry group in the state, recommended that homeowners review their policies and write down any significant phone numbers in case power is out after landfall. "There's nothing between us and this storm but warm water and I think that's what terrifies us about the potential impacts".

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