Tropical Storm Michael prompts hurricane watch for part of Florida

Pauline Gross
October 11, 2018

With the high wind shear that had been making it hard for the storm to organize retreating from the Gulf of Mexico it is likely the system will become Michael as it makes its way north.

Besides the hurricane watch, a tropical storm watch is in effect from the Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay, as well as from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border. Its movement speed was only 8 km/h.

Tropical Storm Michael has strengthened overnight and is nearing hurricane-force winds on Monday morning as it sets its sights on the Florida Panhandle.

According to the National Weather Service, A storm surge watch and tropical storm watch have been issued for Coastal Manatee and other coastal areas including Coastal Citrus, Coastal Hillsborough, Coastal Levy, Coastal Pasco and Pinellas.

Scott activated 500 National Guard Troops to help with planning ahead of the storm.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum was scheduled to campaign in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, but said he is suspending his campaign activity to address preparations for the storm, his campaign said.

Officials believe the storm could strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall midweek.

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Forecasters have warned that Michael's strength could be "catastrophic" for communities in its path - anywhere from Pensacola on the western flank of the Florida Panhandle to Tampa. The hurricane was located 50 miles south of the western tip of Cuba moving north at 7 mph.

The tropical storm has maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour as of 5 a.m. on Monday. The storm has increased from winds of 35 miles per hour on Sunday to 75 miles per hour by late Monday morning.

Keep in mind that in a hurricane, the impacts can stretch hundreds of miles outside the center - including wind, tropical downpours that lead to flooding, storm surge, and tornadoes.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Hurricane Michael has officially formed off the coast of Mexico.

RAINFALL: Total rain accumulations of 3 to 7 inches are expected over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and northern Honduras through Tuesday. On Sunday, CEMA urged residents to maintain awareness of the storm.

Projections show up to a 60 percent chance of tropical storm force winds from Columbus to Macon to Augusta.

Other reports by GizPress

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