Skip Navigation Links
NOAA NOAA United States Department of Commerce

Hurricane MICHAEL


Hurricane Michael Discussion Number  11
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL142018
400 AM CDT Tue Oct 09 2018

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft a few
hours ago indicate that Michael's strengthening has paused, with
the maximum winds near 80 kt and a central pressure near 973 mb.
The aircraft also reported that the eyewall had become less
organized, which may be due to some dry air entrainment and shear.
The latest satellite imagery shows the convective banding becoming
better defined, and the next aircraft will shortly arrive in the
hurricane to provide better information on whether intensification
has resumed.

The initial motion is now 345/10.  There is little change in either
the forecast philosophy from the previous advisory, as Michael
expected to remain caught between a deep-layer ridge centered off of
the U.S. east coast and a highly amplitude mid-latitude trough over
the U.S. Plains states and northern Mexico. This pattern should
steer the hurricane north-northwestward to northward for the next 24
h or so, followed by a turn to the northeast as Michael recurves
into the westerlies.  Only minor tweaks have been made to the
previous forecast track, with Michael expected to make landfall in
the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday and cross the southeastern United
States Wednesday night and Thursday.

The large-scale models continue to forecast a decrease in the shear
later today, and thus Michael is forecast to intensify further
before landfall.  The new intensity forecast follows the previous
forecast in showing Michael as a category 3 hurricane at landfall.
The cyclone should weaken significantly as it crosses the
southeastern United States, then it should re-intensify over the
western Atlantic as it undergoes extratropical transition between
72-96 h.

It should be noted that the location and magnitude of peak storm
surge flooding is very sensitive to small changes in the track,
intensity, and structure of the hurricane. Since there is still
uncertainty in all of these parameters, the official NHC storm surge
forecast and watch/warning areas includes various plausible
scenarios. Regardless of the eventual track and intensity of
Michael, life-threatening storm surge inundation is expected along
portions of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend/Nature Coast, and the
storm surge watch has been upgraded to a storm surge warning for
parts of this area.

The NOAA G-IV aircraft is currently conducting a synoptic
surveillance mission over the Gulf of Mexico and dropsondes from
that mission will be assimilated into the 1200 UTC numerical models

Key Messages:

1. Life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the
coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast, and a
storm surge warning is in effect for these areas. Residents in these
areas should follow all advice given by their local officials.

2. A hurricane warning has been issued for portions of the Florida
Gulf Coast, and everyone in these areas should prepare for
life-threatening winds associated with the core of Michael.
Damaging winds will also extend inland across portions of the
Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and southeast Alabama as
Michael moves inland.

3. Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash
flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into
portions of Georgia and South Carolina.

4. Tropical storm conditions will continue in portions of western
Cuba for a few more hours.

5. Michael is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding
over portions of western Cuba during the next day or so.


INIT  09/0900Z 24.1N  85.9W   80 KT  90 MPH
 12H  09/1800Z 25.7N  86.3W   90 KT 105 MPH
 24H  10/0600Z 27.9N  86.4W  100 KT 115 MPH
 36H  10/1800Z 29.9N  85.6W  105 KT 120 MPH
 48H  11/0600Z 32.3N  83.4W   50 KT  60 MPH...INLAND
 72H  12/0600Z 36.5N  75.5W   45 KT  50 MPH...OVER WATER
 96H  13/0600Z 42.5N  60.5W   60 KT  70 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H  14/0600Z 49.0N  40.5W   55 KT  65 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

Forecaster Beven