Hurricane Michael reaches category 4

RMS has christened Hurricane Michael a “speed demon” as it gains strength. Hurricane Michael is the thirteenth named storm of the 2018 North Atlantic hurricane season. Tracked by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) since October 2, Michael started out as a broad area of low pressure over the southwestern Caribbean Sea, a couple hundred miles north of Panama. The NHC’s “cone of uncertainty” and many of the model solutions have agreed on a landfall on Wednesday afternoon local time near Panama City, Florida. Warnings are now in effect along the US Gulf Coast: A hurricane warning is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwannee River entrance in Florida, and a storm surge warning is in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County line to the Anclote River in Florida. Michael is expected to strengthen as wind shear diminishes and this intensification could be rapid, as sea surface temperatures remain 1-2° Celsius above average. Thus, Michael is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane of Category 3 strength. It is also expected to be a fast-moving storm by the time it makes landfall on Wednesday and is forecast to enter the Atlantic near Norfolk, Virginia overnight on Thursday at tropical storm strength.

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