Hurricane Michael Begins To Impact The WCCB Viewing Area
Hurricane Michael is now a category 4 MAJOR hurricane with sustained winds of 145mph and gusts upwards of 160mph. It is located just 90mi SW of Panama City and will likely make landfall in the Big Bend Region of Florida this afternoon.
Central pressure has dropped to 933mb – this is the lowest pressure of any land-falling hurricane in the month of October on record. Outer rain bands are already reaching the panhandle. There has NEVER been a storm of this strength to make landfall in this region of Florida.
Not only is the storm surge threat serious with 9-13′ of surge possible from Mexico Beach to Keaton Beach, but the landscape cannot handle a storm of this magnitude. Unlike S, Florida, or even the Carolina Coast, the Big Bend Region up into Tallahassee has massive 100 foot Pine Trees and beautiful but, large Spanish Oaks. Powers outages are likely for not just days, but weeks. Not to mention the flooding threat with 4-8″ of rain and up to 12″ of rain possible for some spots.
This is a dangerous storm and will completely change the area for some time. The only positive about this storm, is that it will be moving quickly. A sharp turn to the northeast later today will bring rain and flooding through Georgia and the Carolinas through Thursday before moving off the NC/VA coast.
Impacts for our region will begin later today. A Flash Flood Watch begins at 8am for the Mountains and Foothills, 8pm for Lancaster/Chesterfield Co and at 6am Thursday for the rest of the Piedmont. Rain will get more steady overnight, with heavy rain possible into Thursday.
Strong gusts up to 20-30mph will be possible beginning tonight into Thursday, which means we may have power outages as well. 3-6″ of rain is possible for our region, which makes the flash flooding threat the most dangerous. Rain will be out of the area by late Thursday/Early Friday.
Sunshine will be back in the forecast by Friday. It will be significantly cooler with highs in the low 70s and overnight lows dropping into the 40s and 50s. Dry and sunny through the weekend. Rain chances return to the forecast early next week.
Today: Showers/Storms. High: 77 Wind: SE 9 mph
Tonight: Steady Rain Begins. Low: 73 Wind: SE 10 G20
Thu: Rain, Heavy at Times. High: 78 Wind: NE 13-15 mph G25
Thu Night: Rain Tapers Off. Low: 56 Wind: NW 10-15 G20