Monday evening, the National Hurricane Center out of Miami, Florida reported in discussion #9 that “Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft that was in the storm until about 1700 UTC continued to indicate that the hurricane was deepening,” and that there is expected strengthening as Michael moves into the warm waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and is expected to turn northeastward over the next 36-48 hours and “since there is still uncertainty” within the parameters, “the official NHC storm surge forecast … regardless of track and intensity of Michael, life-threatening storm surge inundation is expected along portions of the Florida Panhandle and Big Ben/Nature Coast, and the storm surge watch has been upgraded to a storm surge warning for parts of this area.”
By 10:00pm, hurricane discussion #10 hurricane hunter aircraft “indicate that Michael has continued to strengthen … despite westerly vertical shear of about 20-kt, which is most unusual” and that “the steering flow pattern isn’t forecast to change much, if at all, for the next 36-38 hours.”
In the face of these 20-kt shears, NHC, says, “Michael’s steady intensification of the last 48-hous defies traditional logic,” saying either the “calculations are unrepresentative or Michael has become more inertially stable due to its large eye and large outer wind field making it more shear resistant.”
Otherwise, the forecast isn’t expected to change much, and the shears are expected to drop to 10-kt or less over the next 36 hours and is still forecasted to further intensify as it moves over the warmer open GoM waters. Temperatures in the eastern Gulf are at ~28.5.C-29C – which are “about 1-2 deg C above average for this time of the year.
One thing about this storm is it’s fast moving forward speed of 20-30-kt and there is a “less-than normal weakening” that is expected in the 48-96 hours after landfall and could re-strengthen “as an extratropical low over water on days 4 and 5,” as it goes out into the Atlantic.
CNN reported that Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in preparation “for 26 counties and activated 1, 250 National Guardsmen for hurricane duty.”
Forecast predicts Michael may be a Cat 3 by landfall with winds 111-129 mph. The Hurricane has “undergone a period of “rapid intensification” – defined as an increase of sustained winds of 35 mph in a 24-hour period” and went from “40 mph on Sunday to 75 mph on Monday and is expected to undergo rapid intensification again in the next 24 hours.”
As of Monday evening maximum sustained winds were at 85 mph, and the “center was about 60 miles north-northwest of the western tip of Cuba” moving at 12 mph and outer winds are extending “outward up to 175 miles.
National Hurricane Center – Atlantic Tropical Cyclones and Disturbances – Home
On A Side Note
This information is the latest as of Monday evening. I’ll update morning changes as soon as I’m able. I’ll be out of pocket for the afternoon, but will try to bring updates as the day progresses as well when and if I can. And we’ll work this through until it makes landfall.
On the Hurricane Michael Forecast Discussion link hit refresh for updates. They put out new updates every six hours.
If you are in the cone of uncertainty, you know the drill. Hide from the wind, run from the water. Be safe, people.