Rain, wind expected from Michael

Published 9:53 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Tropical storm-force winds and rain are expected to hit Hampton Roads on Thursday as Hurricane Michael heads farther northeast.

The National Hurricane Center reported in its 5 p.m. update on Tuesday that Hurricane Michael was about 270 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Fla. It was moving north at 12 miles per hour with maximum sustained wind speeds of 120 mph.

Michael is a Category 3 hurricane and is forecasted to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall in Florida, then weaken as it moves through the southeastern United States, the center reports.

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The hurricane’s center is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend region on Wednesday, move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday evening and into Thursday and Thursday evening and then steer away off the Mid-Atlantic coast on Friday.

The Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region, southeast Alabama and parts of southwest and central Georgia are projected to receive 4 to 8 inches of rainfall, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches, the center reports. Southern Virginia and the Carolinas are expected to receive 3 to 6 inches with isolated bouts of up to 8 inches.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Eswar Iyer said that Hampton Roads residents should expect scattered showers with brief periods of heavy rain on Wednesday evening, but the worst should come late Thursday night.

Tropical storm force winds and localized heavy rain are forecast for Thursday evening and expected to subside around sunrise on Friday morning. Iyer said that it should be “fairly breezy” on Friday afternoon as the storm moves past Hampton Roads.

“Obviously that could change, but that’s the current thinking as of this time,” he said, adding that Michael should make a quick exit. “This storm is moving fairly quickly. It’s not something that’s going to linger on for days.”