Tropical Storm Michael could bring heavy rainfall to Mexico, Cuba, Gulf Coast

Blanche Robertson
October 11, 2018

Tropics: Tropical Storm Michael was named on Sunday and is set to travel into the Gulf over the next couple of days.

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Then, wind shears will become weaker and Michael will become stronger. Swells generated by Michael will affect the south coast of Cuba and the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said in a news briefing.

Below is the Futurecast showing timing of showers & storms as Michael tracks northward.

Satellite wind data indicated the depression had strengthened Sunday morning with maximum winds of 40 miles per hour.

Before Michael hits the United States, it's expected to dump 3 to 7 inches of rain on western Cuba. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area Sunday night and Monday.

Southwest's waiver also covers flights at Cancun, Mexico, and Havana, Cuba, though waiver dates are different for those airports.

Michael emerged Sunday as a tropical storm with winds of up to 50 miles per hour (85 kph).

A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. While forecast models broadly expect the storm to reach hurricane strength, models have varied views on the storm's forward speed, meaning there is still uncertainty about when it might reach the US coast. Storm surge between Indian Pass and Crystal River could reach seven to 11 feet.

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"Michael could be one of the worst hurricanes to ever strike the Florida Big Bend and Florida Panhandle region", warned Weather Channel hurricane expert Rick Knabb.

The eye is expected to move inland over the Florida panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday.

Scott warned that Michael could reach land as a Category 2 hurricane, with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Based on the current projections for its path and timing, parts of the tristate area could see tropical rainfall and be affected by the storm's winds.

Officials are bracing for Tropical Storm Michael to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall on the Florida Panhandle by mid-week.

The tropical storm is expected to swell into a Category 1 hurricane as soon as Monday night or early Tuesday as it rolls into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, with winds of at least 70 miles per hour, forecasters said.

The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwanee River, where Michael could roll ashore on Wednesday.

A hurricane warning and tropical storm watch are in place ahead of Michael's arrival.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that the tropical depression could strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

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