Hurricane Michael slams Florida, FEMA warns power 'off for multiple weeks'

Hurricane Michael slams Florida, FEMA warns power 'off for multiple weeks'

Climate scientists say global warming from human activity is raising ocean temperatures, making storms like Michael far more powerful. There also are expected to be massive power outages along the path of Hurricane Michael as it moves inland over the Panhandle and into Georgia. Storm surge warnings were also in place along the Florida and Alabama coasts. A quarter of a million homes and businesses already were without power, and the number was rising rapidly.

The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch on Wednesday afternoon, lasting from Thursday afternoon to late Thursday night for Calvert, St. Mary's and Charles counties in Maryland and Stafford County in Virginia.

Michael roared toward the Florida panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane Wednesday, with long-range forecasts predicting its remnants could dump heavy rains on Nova Scotia if it passes south of the province as expected. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.

Warmer water acts as fuel for a hurricane, helping it develop into a more destructive, windier storm. Michael is the fourth Category 4 hurricane to hit the U.S.in just 15 months, joining last year's trio of Harvey, Irma, and Maria - an unprecedented string of catastrophic hurricane disasters.

Here are the key messages from this Major Hurricane. A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported almost 5.5 feet of inundation above ground level.

With the storm possibly growing even stronger, NHC scientist Eric Blake called it "a near worst-case scenario for the Florida Panhandle".

Shortly before noon, hurricane-force winds of above 75 miles per hour were reported in Apalachicola.

Hurricane Michael is churning in the Gulf of Mexico and is anticipated to make landfall as a major storm today before heading north and east into the Carolinas.

According to an advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Michael's eyewall was strengthening as it maintained maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour. I don't know where they are. It generated wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (322 km per hour).

Central pressure is the measure of how much the atmosphere in the middle of a storm weighs.

Alabama is under a statewide state of emergency ahead of the hurricane, along with 92 counties in southern Georgia and 35 counties in Florida.

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The National Hurricane Center says Michael has become an extremely unsafe Category 4 storm.

Rainfall could reach up to 30 centimetres and the storm surge could swell to four metres.

The hurricane is now churning along at 16mph and moving toward the north-northeast.

The brute quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression, becoming a furious Category 4 by early Wednesday, up from a Category 2 less than a day earlier.

Central pressure continues to fall and now sits at 947 millibars.

A scary note in this advisory from the Hurricane Center is that "some additional strengthening is possible before landfall". The rain starts moving in from the southwest. Expected landfall is mid-afternoon.

Flight schedules remained grounded at airports in the Florida Panhandle as Hurricane Michael approached the region.

The event that is about to happen along the Panhandle is unprecedented. Keep it tuned to the NBC2 Hurricane Tracking Team as this potentially historic hurricane makes landfall. Flooding above ground will range from 6 to 13 feet, according to the Hurricane Center.

Officials are expecting up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, with some areas receiving 12 inches (30 centimeters). When the wind shear near Michael eased, the storm took off, he said.

A Hurricane Watch before landfall extends from the Alabama/Florida state border to the Suwannee River west of Gainesville.

Michael will track northeastward through Georgia and into the Carolinas.

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