In the DC area, ‘minimal impact’ from Michael predicted

In the DC area, ‘minimal impact’ from Michael predicted

MICHAEL THIS MORNING: Michael strengthened to a category two hurricane this morning with sustained winds of 100 miles per hour in the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm is a Category 3 out of five on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Florida cities including Tallahassee, Panama City, Apalachicola and Pensacola. A tropical storm watch has been issued from South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

"Historically, hurricanes that approach the Florida coast in this area tend to weaken slightly prior to landfall, but little difference in impact related to wind and storm surge is likely regardless", Kottlowski said.

So Michael might even veer back into the Atlantic farther south than Virginia - more like around North Carolina.

Tropical Storm Michael is expected to gain Category 2 or 3 hurricane status by the time of its expected landfall along the Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday morning with winds of at least 125 miles per hour.

Franklin County emergency officials issued a mandatory evacuation for all non-residents and Wakulla County emergency officials plan to announce a mandatory evacuation for coastal and low lying locations by 8 p.m. Monday night.

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A hurricane warning was in effect for a more than 300-mile (480-km) stretch of coastline from the Florida-Alabama border to the Suwannee River in Florida. As what is predicted to be a catastrophic storms whips towards the Gulf Coast, we're sharing all of the vital information you should know.

His opponent in Florida's Senate race, Senator Bill Nelson, said a "wall of water" could cause major destruction along the Panhandle. "Some areas along the Florida Gulf Coast are especially vulnerable to storm surge, regardless of the storm's exact track or intensity", the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. It also shows additional moisture before the storm arrives.

Both NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft have flown through the hurricane's four quadrants - and the NHC says, "The planes actually passed through the eye around the same time [Tuesday morning], and reported that they could see one another".

Michael's trek to Florida is also affecting politics in the state.

A fast-strengthening Hurricane Michael swept toward the Florida panhandle Tuesday afternoon, causing Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency for 35 counties.

In a Facebook post Monday, the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said no shelters would be open because Wakulla County shelters were rated safe only for hurricanes with top sustained winds below 111 miles per hour (178 kph).

Some parts of Florida could see storm surges of nine to 13ft and up to a foot of rain.

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Michael will not stall; it will move along at a good pace.

Storm surge from Hurricane Michael is forecast to be higher than 9 feet and up to 12 feet in some areas of the Big Bend region of Florida.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

"This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides", the NHC warned.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Florida's Democratic nominee for governor, filled sandbags with residents and urged residents of the state capital city to finish up emergency preparations quickly.

This would mean downed trees and power lines.

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