Tropical Storm Michael: Storm Could Strengthen Into Category 2 Hurricane

Tropical Storm Michael: Storm Could Strengthen Into Category 2 Hurricane

Michael battered parts of Mexico and Cuba with powerful winds and drenching rains on Sunday and into early Monday.

Heavy rainfall and strong winds were spreading across western Cuba yesterday.

By Monday morning, Tropical Storm Michael's maximum sustained winds were near 110 kph. Interests along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf coast should monitor the progress of Michael.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall in the United States Wednesday night.

According to the hurricane center, one potential impact from a Category 3 hurricane is that "electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes".

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for... A hurricane watch is in place from the Alabama-Florida border east to the Suwanee.

As of this morning, Michael was located near latitude 21.2 North, longitude 84.9 West. It's traveling north at around 7 miles per hour and is expected to increase as it travels further into the gulf.

So what can we expect in metro Atlanta and north Georgia?

.

Michael is no longer a tropical storm.

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Aside from causing power outages, flooding and property damage, Michael could also worsen a toxic algae bloom that has plagued Florida's beaches for a year.

Energy companies halted almost a fifth of Gulf of Mexico oil production and evacuated staff from 10 platforms on Monday as Michael was forecast to become the strongest of three named storms to affect the U.S. Gulf of Mexico this year.

A hurricane warning has now been issued by the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) for the Gulf Coast of Florida. The threat along the coast includes serious storm surge.

Worry over Hurricane Michael has also postponed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission's highly anticipated hearings into the high school massacre scheduled for this week, as many of those on the commission live in the panhandle.

In the Caribbean, a hurricane warning is in effect for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.

"My mindset is we want to be hopeful but we want to be prepared in case it does make a turn", Congressman Vern Buchanan said during Monday's news conference.

Each line represents a computer model and its best "guess" as to where the center of the storm will go.

MIAMI (AP) - A tropical weather system rapidly strengthened into Hurricane Michael off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and forecasters said it was moving Monday into the Gulf of Mexico where warm waters would continue to fuel its development. Rain showers will move past and a total of 1 to 3 inches can be expected over the 3-day period. It is expected to cut quickly across the Peach State toward the Carolinas and areas flooded severely last month by Hurricane Florence.

The storm was centered about 80 kilometers off the western tip of Cuba, and about 220 kilometers east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico. Luckily, we are not already saturated and our river levels are fairly low, but flooding can not be ruled out, especially in flood prone areas.

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