Hurricane Michael in the South, heavy rain and snow out west this week

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The big weather story is Hurricane Michael which will produce strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding to parts of the Southeast this week.

  • Takeaways:

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

    • Expect downed trees and power lines, and loss of electricity.

    • 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 not stall after landfall.

  • As of Monday morning Michael was a Category 1 hurricane centered just to the north of the western tip of Cuba with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

  • At this time Michael is forecast to make landfall Wednesday afternoon/evening somewhere on the Florida panhandle, probably near Apalachicola or Panama City Beach, as Category 2 or Category 3 (major) hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Winds will knock out power and produce storm surge of 4’-8’.

  • Tropical storm force winds of 39-73 mph will begin Tuesday afternoon/evening, approximately 24 hours before landfall.

  • 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.

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

  • Tropical Storm Watches are in place for Suwannee, Florida eastward to Anna Maria Island and the Tampa Bay metro area; and from the Alabama-Florida line westward to Alabama-Mississippi line.

 NOAA rainfall outlook for week of October 8, 2018
NOAA rainfall outlook for week of October 8, 2018

Heavy rain will be a concern early in the week from the Plains to the midWest.

  • Central Texas northward to Wisconsin could get doused with 5”-7” Monday through Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued Flood Watches for these areas.

  • Severe thunderstorms could produce strong winds, hail, and isolated tornadoes in central and west Texas on Monday, north Texas to Iowa on Tuesday. High winds could also make driving difficult along I-40 and I-25 through much of New Mexico on Monday and Tuesday.

  • Heavy rain will slow down truckers on Wednesday and Thursday from northeast Arkansas to Chicago and northern Indiana, and later in the week across southern Arizona, including Phoenix and Tuscon.

Watch out for heavy snow Monday through Wednesday out west, affecting mainly Interstates and 25, 70, 76, and 80.

  • Across the Rockies from Colorado to northeast Utah and much of Wyoming, areas of 4”-8” will be common with 12” in the highest elevations.

  • Freezing drizzle could produce minor ice accumulation of 1/10” in some of these areas.

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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.