As of 5pm, Hurricane Michael has reached major hurricane status as a Category 3 storm and is now located 295 miles south of Panama City, FL. It is expected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon/evening in the Panhandle of Florida. The National Hurricane Center forecast remains its Category 3 status until that point.
Hurricane warnings are in place as the storm will bring strong winds — currently gusting to 150 mph, heavy rain, potential tornadoes, and significant storm surge to the area. Storm surge forecast for some areas are 9-12 feet which does not include the rainfall. Rain amounts will range from 3-6″ of widespread numbers, but isolated areas of 7+” is likely.
After making landfall, the storm will move up the east coast and we will see some of the effects here in New England but the storm track will be key. Right now it looks like the storm will stay off shore enough where the strong winds will remain out over the water along with most of the heavy rain. The South Coast, Cape, and Islands could be included on heavy rain on Friday but again, the track will be key. Right now, it looks like most of us will see a good soaking rain Thursday night as the storm pushes tropical moisture into a cold front, but that cold front will sweep the remnants of the storm out to sea on Friday.