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Hurricane Michael expected to bring life-threatening storm surge to northeastern Gulf coast

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Posted at 1:58 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 13:58:32-04

Hurricane Michael is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge to the northeastern Gulf coast, the National Hurricane Center said. 

The eye of the storm was moving northward over the eastern Gulf of Mexico at 12 mph as it moves toward northern Florida.

The storm has max sustained winds of 110 mph and is moving north at 12 inches. The eye is located about 335 miles south of Panama City, Florida.

BE PREPARED | ABC Action News Hurricane Center

TAMPA BAY | Evacuation orders ahead of Hurricane Michael

SANDBAG LOCATIONS | Sandbag locations open across Tampa Bay

SCHOOL CLOSINGS | Official list of school closings

Here is the full update as of 2:00 p.m. Tuesday from the National Hurricane Center.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...
* Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida to Anclote River Florida

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...
* Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including
Tampa Bay
* Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River Florida

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border
* Suwanee River Florida to Chassahowitzka Florida

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay
* Mississippi/Alabama border to the Mouth of the Pearl River
* Fernandina Beach Florida to South Santee River South Carolina

At 100 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Michael was located
near latitude 25.4 North, longitude 86.4 West. Michael is moving
toward the north near 12 mph (19 km/h).  A northward motion is
expected through tonight, followed by a northeastward motion on
Wednesday and Thursday.  On the forecast track, the center of
Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico through tonight.
The center of Michael is then expected to move inland over the
Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then
move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday
night and Thursday, and move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away from
the United States by Friday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate
that the maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 km/h) with
higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected, and Michael is
forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall in Florida. Weakening
is expected after landfall as Michael moves through the southeastern
United States.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185
miles (295 km). NOAA buoy 42003 recently reported 1-minute mean
winds of 54 mph (87 km/h) and a wind gust of 59 mph (94 km/h).

The latest minimum central pressure based on data from the aircraft
is 965 mb (28.50 inches).

STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water has the
potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge
occurs at the time of high tide...

Indian Pass FL to Cedar Key FL...8-12 ft
Cedar Key FL to Crystal River FL...6-8 ft
Okaloosa/Walton County Line FL to Indian Pass FL...6-9 ft
Crystal River FL to Aripeka FL...4-6 ft
Aripeka FL to Anna Maria Island FL including Tampa Bay...2-4 ft
Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line FL...2-4 ft

WIND:  Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane
warning area along the U.S. Gulf Coast by Wednesday, with tropical
storm conditions expected by tonight or early Wednesday.  Hurricane
conditions will also spread well inland across portions of the
Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning
area by tonight or early Wednesday, and are possible within the
tropical storm watch area by that time.  Hurricane conditions are
possible within the hurricane watch area by Wednesday.

Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area along the
southeast U.S. coast Wednesday night and Thursday.

RAINFALL:  Michael is expected to produce the following rainfall
amounts through Friday...

Western Cuba...4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12
inches. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods
and mudslides.

Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, southeast Alabama, and southern
Georgia...4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches.
This rainfall could lead to life threatening flash floods.

Eastern Georgia, the Carolinas, and southern Virginia...3 to 6
inches. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.

Florida Peninsula, eastern Mid Atlantic, southern New England
coast...1-3 inches.

SURF:  Swells generated by Michael are affecting the coasts of the
eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico, and will spread to portions of
the northwestern and western Gulf of Mexico coast during the next
day or so.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf
and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local
weather office.

TORNADOES:  The threat for tornadoes will increase late tonight into
Wednesday over parts of the Florida Panhandle, the northern Florida
Peninsula, and southern Georgia.

NEXT ADVISORY
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Next complete advisory at 400 PM CDT.