A tropical disturbance that developed near Mexico Friday afternoon has since strengthened into Tropical Storm Michael Sunday afternoon, the thirteen named storm in the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Tropical Storm Michael is expected to move north through the Gulf of Mexico early this week before turning northeast toward the Florida Panhandle.
Current forecast guidance suggests a possible landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane near Panama City Beach early Wednesday afternoon. However, forecast information will change and anyone with interests from Biloxi, Mississippi to Gulf Shores, Alabama to the Big Bend of Florida should continue to monitor this situation.
Impacts from Tropical Storm Michael will be experienced much sooner than the actual landfall itself (which occurs when the due center of the eye crosses over land). Rough surf as well as gusty winds and heavy rain will occur along the Gulf Coast as early as Tuesday.
Below is additional information from the National Hurricane Center.
000 WTNT34 KNHC 071743 TCPAT4 BULLETIN Tropical Storm Michael Intermediate Advisory Number 4A NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL142018 100 PM CDT Sun Oct 07 2018 ...MICHAEL EXPECTED TO SPREAD HEAVY RAINS OVER WESTERN CUBA LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT... SUMMARY OF 100 PM CDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...19.2N 86.9W ABOUT 90 MI...145 KM S OF COZUMEL MEXICO ABOUT 225 MI...365 KM SW OF THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...STATIONARY MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY: None SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * The Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth * The coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within 24 hours. Interests along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf coast should monitor the progress of Michael. For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service. DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK ---------------------- At 100 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Michael was located near latitude 19.2 North, longitude 86.9 West. Michael is currently stationary but is expected to resume a slow northward motion later today. A northward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected over the next few days. On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move near the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday morning, and then across the eastern Gulf of Mexico late Monday through Wednesday morning. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next several days, and Michael could become a hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 200 miles (320 km) mainly to the north and east of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 mb (29.65 inches). HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by this evening or tonight, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. RAINFALL: Total rain accumulations of 3 to 7 inches are expected over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and northern Honduras through Tuesday. Isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible in western Cuba. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain. Elsewhere, outer rain bands from Michael are expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches across the Florida Keys through Monday. NEXT ADVISORY ------------- Next complete advisory at 400 PM CDT. $$ Forecaster Brown