International Space Station Captures Hurricane Michael From Space

International Space Station Captures Hurricane Michael From Space

"One of my key concerns right now going into is that we haven't seen as robust of an evacuation response from the civilian population that we have seen in other storms", O'Shaughnessy said. Flash flooding is also expected to be a major concern as the storm continues to push inland. In Panacea, the water was already rapidly rising.

A motion toward the northeast at a faster forward speed is forecast on Thursday into Friday night.

Hurricane Michael strengthened to a Category 3 storm over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday while bearing down on the Florida Panhandle, which was bracing for fierce winds and life-threatening flooding.

Panama City is said to be the first in the U.S. to be hit. Winds will be 10-15 sustained, gusting up to 25 miles per hour. This is a lower central pressure than Katrina or Andrew had. It was the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental almost 50 years. A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported almost 5.5 feet of inundation above ground level. The storm brings with it sustained winds of 145 miles per hour.

The outer bands have begun to hit the coast with tropical storm level winds.

This storm is potentially historic: since records have been kept since 1851, a Category 4 hurricane has never made landfall on the Florida Panhandle.

Michael was continuing to intensify even as it made landfall Wednesday, an unusual phenomenon that surprised some experts.

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Scott, who has activated 2,500 members of the National Guard, warned Michael could be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades.

"Guess what? That's today", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said. Michael is now positioned 60 miles south-southwest of Panama City.

NWS offices in Jackson and New Orleans/Baton Rouge issued 11 tornado warnings for areas that would not experience an actual tornado but would experience extreme wind speeds commonly associated with tornadoes.

The latest minimum central pressure based on data from the reconnaissance aircraft has dropped to 928 millibars, meaning the eye of the storm is strenghtening.

Michael also could dump up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain over some Panhandle communities before it sweeps over Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia Wednesday and Thursday. The NHC said some areas of the Florida coast could expect storm surge of nine to 13 feet, and as much as a foot of rain.

The National Hurricane Center says Michael has become an extremely risky Category 4 storm. And the Big Bend area of Florida is notorious for high storm surge because of its curved shape. Hurricane Michael moved over some very warm water in the Gulf of Mexico, highly unusual for this time of year (and something that has been attributed to global warming), per The Verge.

Almost 1,200 Gulf Power employees and 330 Gulf Power contractors shift to storm duty roles to restore power when a storm hits to ensure power is restored as quickly and safely as possible for their customers.

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