Hurricane Michael is forecast by AccuWeather meteorologists to make landfall over the Florida Panhandle during the middle of this week.
Wind shear will remain the only deterrent to the strength of Michael prior to landfal. But despite that, Michael has the potential to become a major hurricane, possibly a Category 3.
“We expect Hurricane Michael to make landfall between Panama City, Florida, and Apalachicola, Florida, sometime later Wednesday or Wednesday night,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. “Impacts from Hurricane Michael along the Florida Panhandle will include a dangerous storm surge, flooding rainfall and damaging winds.”
As with any hurricane that makes landfall, there will be the risk of tornadoes being spawned.
The heaviest rain will tend to fall in areas that were missed by Florence and focused from the Florida Panhandle to southwestern and central Georgia to part of central South Carolina.
After landfall, steering winds will guide Michael on a curved and accelerated northeastward path into Georgia, the Carolinas and then Virginia into the end of this week.
“We expect less rain to fall with Michael, when compared to Florence,” Kottlowski said. “However, enough rain will fall to cause urban, small stream and some river flooding in the region with a general 4 to -8 inches of rain.”
Some areas that experienced flooding from Florence are likely to face renewed flooding but perhaps on a lesser scale due to Michael’s forecast increasing speed. Some rivers may rise more swiftly than before due to the wet ground.
Another dose of heavy rain may once again saturate fields in the region, which may be another blow to agriculture.
After Michael spends several hours over land, the shield of heavy and steady rain may set up north and west of the center. This could put a secondary swath of flooding over part of the southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas.