Ivey issues state of emergency for Alabama

NOAA: Hurricane Michael 2018 Projected Path, Spaghetti Models

The National Hurricane Center reports Michael is forecast to be a risky major hurricane when it reaches the Gulf Coast on Wednesday with life-threatening storm surge possible along portions of the state, including Manatee County, which could see up to a four-foot storm surge.

The NHC said in a tweet that a "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding was likely in areas of the Florida Panhandle and described the storm as "dangerous".

In Florida, state offices, schools and universities were set to close Tuesday through the end of the week in panhandle counties.

Now ranked as a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale, Michael could grow into a Category 3, becoming the second major hurricane in the Atlantic basin this year following Florence last month, forecasters said.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said: "Hurricane Michael is forecasted to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades".

Currently, Central Florida is only expected to experience some heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday.

Hurricane Michael was a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 155 miles per hour when it came ashore Wednesday near Mexico Beach, Fla.

Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground, said water temperatures along Michaels potential path are 84 to 86 degrees, providing ample energy for the storm to strengthen. Michael became a hurricane early Monday, forecasters said, crossing a critical threshold as it churned by the western tip of Cuba.

The governor warns that storm surge could be as high as 8-10 feet (2.4-3 meters) in some parts of the Panhandle and 2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters) in the Tampa Bay area.

NOAA: Hurricane Michael 2018 Projected Path, Spaghetti Models
Michael officially a hurricane, tropical storm effects expected in Chatham County

Michael is the seventh hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. He added that the hurricane looks like "a big one".

As of 11 p.m. Monday, Michael was centered about 455 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida, and 485 miles south of Panama City, Florida.

In Alabama, governor Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of widespread power outages, wind damage and heavy rain.

"Our state understands how serious tropical weather is and how devastating any hurricane of tropical storm can be", Scott said in a statement. A storm surge warning was issued for Florida's Gulf coast from the Okaloosa-Walton County Line to Anclote River.

Michael, which increased to a Category 1 hurricane midday Monday, will rapidly intensify over the next 24 to 36 hours, Orrock said.

"We are running out of time", Scott said in a post on Twitter.

Traffic has built up along a coastal highway on Panama City Beach, as residents begin to board up and move out.

Plus, with hurricanes and tropical storms, the biggest threat to human life is the water that comes from storm surge and rain-related flooding.

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