Published: Wed, October 10, 2018

Florida Governor to Declare State of Emergency Ahead of Potential Hurricane Threat

Florida Governor to Declare State of Emergency Ahead of Potential Hurricane Threat

The Hurricane Center predicts risky surf conditions will start to appear along the northern Gulf Coast on Tuesday.

Lowndes County can expect "at least" 40 miles per hour winds, with gusts to hurricane strength, and three to five inches of rain when the storm moves through the county Wednesday, said Kelly Godsey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Tallahassee, Fla., office.

The National Hurricane Center announced a tropical depression had strengthened.

Michael is expected to move north through the Gulf early this week before turning northeast toward the Florida Panhandle. Leslie was moving east-southeast at 13 miles per hour. It's forecast to become a major hurricane sometime Tuesday and should make landfall Wednesday afternoon or evening, likely between Pensacola in the far western Panhandle and Apalachicola, directly south of Tallahassee on the coast. Storm surge projections are in excess of 8 to 12 feet.

Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches have been issued for parts of the Florida Gulf Coast, please monitor the National Hurricane Center and your local National Weather Service office for details as it relates to the protection of life and property. Even on the low end this will become a unsafe storm. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area tonight and on Monday. The storm was moving north at 12 miles per hour and strengthening with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour.

Today's forecast for Palm Beach County includes a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain with highs in the upper 80s.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwannee River.

Since the storm will spend two to three days over the Gulf, which has very warm water temperatures and favorable atmospheric conditions, "there is a real possibility that Michael will strengthen to a major hurricane before landfall", Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the Miami-based storm forecasting hub, wrote in an advisory. "This storm will be life-threatening and really risky".

NHC forecasters say that a northward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday.

Gulf Coast of Florida from the Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Anclote River.

Then, wind shear will become weaker and Michael will become stronger. At this time of year wind shear can tear storms structures apart, but some meteorologists are suggesting that wind shear will be lower than normal, providing an environment more conducive to intensification and for the storm to maintain its structure over the coming days. The declaration will free up resources for storm preparation. Heavy rains and storm surge will also be a concern.

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