Hurricane Michael is nearing the U.S. coast, and the National Hurricane Center is providing frequent updates about the storm’s movements as it approaches Florida. Here are the details from the latest update from the NOAA as of October 9 at 1 p.m. The next update will be at 4 p.m. You can read the full updates on the NOAA’s website here.
Hurricane Michael’s Location, Coordinates & Movement on October 9
As of 1 p.m., Michael was located at 25.4 N, 86.4 W, about 335 miles S of Panama City, Florida and 310 miles SSW of Apalachicola, Florida. It’s moving N or 350 degrees at 12 mph.
The National Hurricane Center noted the following at 1 p.m.: “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.”
Hurricane Michael’s Wind Strength, Pressure, & Rainfall
The storm’s maximum sustained winds are currently 110 mph. NOAA notes that there are 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.”
The storm’s minimum central pressure is 965 MB or 28.50 inches.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.
Michael is expected to produce storm surges in normally dry areas near the coast. If peak surge is during high tide, the water could reach heights of 8-12 feet in Indian Pass, FL to Cedar Key, FL; 6-8 feet in Cedar Key, FL to Crystal River, FL; 6-9 feet in Okaloosa/Walton County Line, FL to Indian Pass, FL; 4-6 feet in Crystal River, FL to Aripeka, FL; 2-4 feet in Aripeka, FL to Anna Maria Island, FL (including Tampa Bay) and in the Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line, FL.
Michael could produce 4 to 8 inches of rain in Western Cuba with isolated amounts of 12 inches; and the same in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, southeast Alabama, and southern Georgia. Other areas may see 3 to 6 inches, with possible life-threatening flash floods.
Current Watches & Warnings
According to the National Hurricane Center, the following warnings and watches are in effect.
- Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River, Florida
According to NHC: “A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
- Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border
According to NHC: “A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.”
Tropical Storm Warning
- Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border
- Suwannee River, Florida to Chassahowitzka, Florida
According to NHC: “A Tropical Storm Warning means that the tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.”
Tropical Storm Watch
- 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
According to NHC: “A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.”
Storm Surge Warning
- Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida to Anclote River Florida
According to NHC: “A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.”
Storm Surge Watch
- Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including
- Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida
According to NHC: “A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.”
Additional watches and warnings may be issued, so stay tuned.
Additional Hurricane Discussions
The NOAA has also noted the following: “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.
“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.”