Hurricane Michael to slam into Gulf Coast mid-week

Michael becomes the sixth hurricane of the Atlantic season, taking aim on the South this week.

  • Takeaways:

    • Flooding along parts of the Florida panhandle, central and south Georgia, and the Carolinas during the second half of this week.

    • Significant wind damage to building and other structures. Expect downed trees and power lines, and loss of electricity along the coast and inland into south Georgia, southeast Alabama, and the Carolinas.

    • Regional impacts to transportation, especially along I-10, but significant national disruptions to transportation and supply chains are not likely.

    • Flooding will be significant, but won’t be as devastating as that from Florence because Michael will likely not stall after landfall.

  • Current location, strength (as of 5 p.m. EDT Monday): Category 1 hurricane centered 485 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 85 mph. It’s the sixth hurricane of the Atlantic season. The others have been Beryl, Chris, Florence, Helene, Isaac, and Leslie (still in the mid-Atlantic).

  • Forecast path: At this time Michael is forecast to get stronger and make landfall Wednesday afternoon near Panama City Beach as Category 3 (major) hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Tropical storm force winds of 39-73 mph will begin Tuesday afternoon/evening, approximately 24 hours before landfall.

  • Forecast rainfall, storm surge: 4”-7” of rain will be possible across parts of northern Florida, central and south Georgia, and areas along the coastlines of North and South Carolina which were flooded from Hurricane Florence last month. Isolated higher amounts can’t be ruled out.

  • Winds will produce storm surge of 5 to 12 feet from Panama City Beach to near Tampa-St. Petersburg.

  • Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Florida panhandle from the Alabama-Florida line eastward to Suwannee, Florida.

  • Hurricane Watch from the Alabama-Florida line to the Alabama-Mississippi line.

  • Tropical Storm Warnings from the Alabama-Florida to the Alabama-Mississippi line; Suwanee, Florida to Chassahowitzka, Florida.

  • Tropical Storm Watch for Chassahowitzka, Florida to Tampa-St. Petersburg.

  • Storm Surge Warning from Okaloosa-Walton County line in Florida to Anclote, Florida.

  • Storm Surge Watch from Anclote, Florida to Tampa-St. Petersburg; Alabama-Florida line to the Okaloosa-Walton County line in Florida.

Show More

Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his 17 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.