Michael has undergone rapid intensification over the last 24 hours.
As of 7:00 A.M., Hurricane Hunters have found a lowering pressure of 933 millibars, which means it is still strengthening.
Michael is a Category 4 Hurricane, making it a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher). It is forecast to continue to strengthen and perhaps making landfall as a strong Category 4 Hurricane in the Northeastern Florida Panhandle. Landfall is forecast to be between Destin and Apalachicola. Most likely a landfall near Panama City Beach. A Category 5 hurricane is not out of the question at this point.
The storm is tracking to the north around 13 m.p.h. and is expected to shift to the north-northeast and northeast later on Wednesday before making landfall this Wednesday afternoon.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the center. All in all, impacts can be felt well-away from the center of the storm, especially with a storm of this magnitude.
ADVISORIES, WATCHES & WARNINGS:
- Hurricane Warning is in effect for coastal Escambia, Santa Rosa, and coastal and inland Okaloosa, Walton, and areas eastward. Hurricane-force winds (74 m.p.h. +) are expected.
- Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for coastal Mobile, Baldwin, inland Western Florida Panhandle (Inland Escambia, Santa Rosa) and inland South Central Alabama. Tropical-storm-force winds (39 to 73 m.p.h.) can be expected.
- Storm Surge Warning is in effect for coastal Walton County and eastward into the eastern Panhandle. Storm surge of 8' to 14' will be possible in these areas, mainly to the east of the center of where Michael tracks.
- Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for coastal Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa County in Florida and Mobile and Baldwin County in Alabama. 1.5 to 2.5' of inundation can be expected.
- Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Okaloosa county and areas eastward into the Panhandle. Heavy rainfall can lead to flash flooding.
- High Surf Warning in effect until Thursday morning. Waves of 10 to 15 feet are likely.
- High risk for rip currents will last for the rest of the week.