Michael to speed through Suffolk

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2018

With the eye of Hurricane Michael approaching southeastern Alabama and southwest Georgia on Wednesday after slamming into the Gulf Coast as a very strong Category 4 storm, residents in Hampton Roads should expect rain and wind to pick up on Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center forecast that Michael was about 30 miles west of Bainbridge, Ga. as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, moving north-northeast at 16 miles per hour with maximum sustained wind speeds of 125 mph.

A Category 3 hurricane since shortly after making landfall in the Florida Panhandle, Michael was forecast to turn northeast before speeding up Thursday and Friday. Michael will move northeastward across the southeastern United States and then off the Mid-Atlantic coast late Thursday night and into Friday morning, according to the forecast.

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As of Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service Wakefield Office’s Suffolk forecast has showers on Thursday and possibly a thunderstorm in the afternoon. The high is expected to be 82 degrees with a south wind blowing between nine and 14 mph and gusting as high as 22 mph.

Wind and rain will pick up Thursday evening with some storms that could produce heavy rainfall. Winds will be between 15 and 20 mph, then 26 to 31 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 49 mph, according to NWS Wakefield.

A wind advisory has been issued for Suffolk, according to National Weather Service Wakefield meteorologist Eswar Iyer.

“The wind will pick up shortly before the rain ends, maybe a few hours before the rain ends,” Iyer said. “But it will continue to be fairly windy after the rain ends and just slowly subside through Friday.”

Rainfall should be between 3 to 6 inches locally Thursday evening and into Friday before the rain ends in the morning. Iyer said Michael is a “pretty faster mover” that should be in and out of the area fairly quickly.

“It will be, after sunrise, pretty much a dry day,” Iyer said. “It will be windy and actually feel more like fall.”