CATEGORY FOUR MICHAEL FLORIDA PANHANDLE FLATTENING
Good morning everyone. Category 4 Hurricane Michael has strengthened beyond what anyone thought was possible, even beyond my high estimates compared to hurricane experts. He is going to be a devastating storm for the Florida Panhandle, set for landfall today.
Locally, morning fog and clouds will once again give way to peeks of sun. We’ll have another muggy one with highs 75-80. Tomorrow, our approaching front will be enhanced with some of Michael’s energy even though we won’t see any action from his core. Look for showers and storms by late morning, going all the way through the night; highs a muggy mid 70’s.
Friday morning rain clears out, leaving a gusty day and temps falling through the 60’s and even upper 50’s as the day goes on; setting us up for a cool weekend. On Saturday, we’ll finally see some full sunshine, but with the core of cool air over us, don’t expect us to get past the upper 50’s to near 60. Sunday will be another sunny one, with upper 50’s to low 60’s in the area.
Once Michael passes, we will get into the long range, which is looking relatively cool to near normal in long stretches. Michael below…..
WESTERN ATLANTIC SATELLITE
Hurricane Michael has gone about 10-15 mph wind-wise beyond what I thought he was going to be capable of. Regardless, he was a dangerous storm then and a dangerous storm now. As of this moment, he’s packing 140mph winds and gust to near 170mph. With a lot of room, very warm Gulf water, and steering mechanisms that were gentle to Michael, he was able to strengthen rapidly and often.
From the very beginning, the Florida Panhandle was discussed as his point of landfall, which has held true. Everyone needs to get our of the way and don’t expect any last minute weakening like Florence in terms of wind. Michael is not getting squeezed and stalled, so steady forward movement will allow him to maintain Category 4 status at or near landfall.
Seek shelter in designated buildings rated for this type of system and get away from the water. There’s not really much else to say. Those who have standard homes in the path of the eyewall and those in the highest surge zone should not expect to come back to an intact house. Most likely it’ll be gone or severely damaged.
After Michael slams the coast, he’ll move inland and bring the southeast a dose of flooding rains, isolated tornadoes east of its core, and tropical storm force winds/gusts.