WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach in Florida's Panhandle, with 155 mph winds.
Watch Live: Hurricane Michael makes landfall.
"Hurricane Michael is the worst storm the Florida Panhandle has seen in 100 years," Gov. Scott said at a news conference Wednesday morning.
Forecasters believed Michael would intensify before its eye moved across the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon. And it did, going from 150 mph winds to 155 mph winds, making it the strongest ever to hit that part of Florida.
Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds, and heavy rainfall are imminent, the NHC said earlier.
The Florida Panhandle and Big Bend area, along with southwest and central Georgia could see between 4 to 8 inches of rain, with some isolated areas seeing up to a foot of rain.
Tornadoes are also possible in parts of the Florida Panhandle through the afternoon.
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee issued an extreme wind warning as gusts in excess of 130 mph were expected.
Swells from Hurricane Michael will also cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions along the eastern, northern, and western Gulf of Mexico.
FEMA is also alerting residents in Georgia to prepare as the storm could knock out power there for weeks.
Also in the tropics, Leslie is now a hurricane with 75 mph winds. Nadine remains a tropical storm with 65 mph winds.
BULLETIN FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
The Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued west of the
The Tropical Storm Watch along the west coast of Florida has been
discontinued south of Chassahowitzka.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...
* Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida to Anclote River Florida
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...
* Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including
* Ocracoke Inlet North Carolina to Duck North Carolina
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River Florida
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Suwanee River Florida to Chassahowitzka Florida
* North of Fernandina Beach Florida to Duck North Carolina
* Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline. For
a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather
Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-
threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the
Interests elsewhere across the southeastern United States should
monitor the progress of Michael.
For storm information specific to your area, including possible
inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your
local National Weather Service forecast office.
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
Satellite, aircraft, and radar data indicate that the eye of
Michael is making landfall just northwest of Mexico Beach, Florida.
At 100 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Michael was located
near latitude 30.0 North, longitude 85.5 West. Michael is moving
toward the north-northeast near 14 mph (22 km/h). A turn toward the
northeast is expected this afternoon or tonight. A motion toward
the northeast at a faster forward speed is forecast on Thursday
through Friday night. On the forecast track, the core of Michael
will move inland across the Florida Panhandle this afternoon, and
across southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia tonight.
Michael will move northeastward across the southeastern United
States through Thursday night, and then move off the Mid-Atlantic
coast away from the United States on Friday.
Recent data from NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter
aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to
near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts. Michael is an extremely
dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind
Scale. Michael should weaken as it crosses the southeastern United
States. Michael is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone on
Friday, and strengthening is forecast as the system moves over the
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175
miles (280 km). A wind gust of 130 mph (210 mph) was recently
reported at a University of Florida/Weatherflow observing site near
Tyndall Air Force Base before the instrument failed. A wind gust to
129 mph (207 km/h) was reported at the Panama City Airport.
The latest minimum central pressure based on data from an Air Force
Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is 919 mb (27.41 inches).
A minimum pressure of 920 mb was recently reported by a University
of Florida/Weatherflow observing site near Tyndall Air Force Base.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water has the
potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge
occurs at the time of high tide...
Tyndall Air Force Base FL to Aucilla River FL...9-14 ft
Okaloosa/Walton County Line FL to Tyndall Air Force Base FL...6-9 ft
Aucilla River FL to Cedar Key FL...6-9 ft
Cedar Key FL to Chassahowitzka FL...4-6 ft
Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island FL including Tampa Bay...2-4 ft
Sound side of the North Carolina Outer Banks from Ocracoke Inlet to
Water levels continue to rise quickly along the coast of the Florida
Panhandle. A National Ocean Service water level station at
Apalachicola recently reported over 6.5 feet of inundation above
WIND: Tropical storm and hurricane conditions will continue
to spread inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle,
southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia this afternoon and
With the landfall of Michael's eye occurring, everyone in the
landfall area is reminded not to venture out into the relative calm
of the eye, as hazardous winds will increase very quickly as the eye
Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread northward within
the warning area along the southeast U.S. coast beginning tonight
RAINFALL: Michael is expected to produce the following rainfall
amounts through Friday...
Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, southeast Alabama, and portions of
southwest and central Georgia...4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum
amounts of 12 inches. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening
The remainder of Georgia, the Carolinas, and southern Virginia...3
to 6 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches. This
rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.
Florida Peninsula, eastern Mid Atlantic, southern New England
SURF: Swells generated by Michael will affect the coasts of the
eastern, northern, and western Gulf of Mexico during the next day
or so. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf
and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local
TORNADOES: Tornadoes are possible across parts of the Florida
Panhandle and the northern Florida Peninsula through this afternoon.
This risk will spread northward into parts of Georgia and southern
South Carolina this afternoon and tonight.