Michael | 11 a.m. Tuesday
by The Press and Standard | October 9, 2018 11:10 am
Hurricane Michael Discussion Number 12 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL142018 1000 AM CDT Tue Oct 09 2018 Michael has continued to become better organized this morning. The hurricane has become more symmetric with the eye becoming more apparent in infrared and visible satellite imagery. Data from both NOAA and U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft show that the minimum pressure has dropped to around 965 mb, and a blend of the flight-level and SFMR winds support an initial intensity of 95 kt for this advisory. With two aircraft in the storm, they have been able to sample each of the four quadrants a couple of times this morning, providing better confidence in the analyzed wind field. The planes actually passed through the eye around the same time just before 1200 UTC, and reported that they could see one another. The outflow pattern has become better established over the hurricane, but there is still a little evidence of some westerly shear. The shear should continue to decrease, and further strengthening is expected until landfall on Wednesday. Michael is expected to become a major hurricane later today, and remain a dangerous major hurricane through landfall. Significant weakening should occur as the center moves inland over the southeastern United States, but re-strengthening as an extratropical low is expected when the system moves over the western Atlantic. Michael is moving between north-northwest and north at about 10 kt. The track forecast reasoning is the same as the past several advisories, as Michael should move generally northward through early Wednesday between a ridge over the western Atlantic and a deep-layer trough over the central United States. As the trough moves eastward it will cause Michael to turn northeastward on Wednesday. The hurricane should then continue northeastward and accelerate as it becomes embedded in the mid-latitude westerlies. The track guidance is in very good agreement through the first 36-48 hours, with some differences in forward speed thereafter. The GFS and ECMWF have trended slower after landfall, and the new NHC track has been adjusted accordingly. Key Messages: 1. Life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast, and a storm surge warning is in effect for these areas. Water levels will rise well in advance of the center of Michael, and residents within the storm surge warning area should finish preparations to protect life and property today. 2. Everyone in the hurricane warning area along the Florida Gulf Coast should prepare for life-threatening major hurricane winds associated with the core of Michael. Hurricane force winds will also extend well inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and southeast Alabama as Michael moves inland. 3. Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia and South Carolina. 4. Michael is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding over portions of western Cuba during the next day or so.