Tropical Storm Michael could strengthen into hurricane, forecasters say

Geraldine Edwards
October 23, 2018

After hitting Florida, the storm is then forecast to move northeast along the Atlantic Coast and batter the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

"The gulf is full of warm water, essentially hurricane fuel", he said.

Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, according to hurricane center spokesperson Dennis Feltgen.

"It could be locally heavier in places", he said. Additionally, moisture streaming in from the Pacific toward Michael has the potential to trigger widespread flooding and mudslides in El Salvador and southern Guatemala through early this week. It is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm tonight and it would become Michael. NHC Director Ken Graham said Monday that winds as high as 120 miles per hour are possible at landfall, which would make it a Category 3 hurricane.

NWS Charleston's latest advisory on Tropical Depression 14 anticipates impacts along the SC coast as early as Sunday night, and minor to moderate impacts along the SC and Georgia coasts Monday until Thursday.

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Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

A hurricane warning has been issued for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio and tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Cuban province of Isle of Youth and the Mexican coast from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.

"If any Florida family doesn't have an emergency preparedness plan, now is the time to act", Scott said.

"Heavy rainfall, wind and storm surge impacts will be possible across portions of the northern Gulf Coast by midweek", according to the hurricane center.

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

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As Michael continues strengthening, it likely becomes a hurricane by Monday afternoon.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by this evening or tonight, making outside preparations hard or unsafe.

WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said Monday that the National Hurricane Center's 5 a.m. update on Monday has the storm making landfall as a Category 1 or Category 2 storm before moving up through the southeastern U.S.

An Air Force hurricane hunter airplane was sent into the storm to investigate, the hurricane centre said.

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