Florida, Alabama on emergency footing for Hurricane Michael
MIAMI >> Hurricane Michael gained new strength Monday and is expected to keep growing stronger ahead of an expected midweek strike on Florida’s Panhandle, forecasters said.
Michael could become a major hurricane with winds topping 111 mph by tonight before the anticipated landfall Wednesday on the Panhandle or Big Bend, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Since the storm will spend two to three days over the Gulf of Mexico, which has very warm water temperatures and favorable atmospheric conditions, “there is a real possibility that Michael will strengthen to a major hurricane before landfall,” Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the Miami-based storm forecasting hub, wrote in an advisory.
Michael’s large size, strong winds and heavy rains could produce hazardous flooding along a stretch of Florida’s Gulf coast, said Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham.