A hurricane is a “tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.” They are rated according to intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage a Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane. There have been 13 hurricanes or tropical storms so far in 2018 and the season is not over yet. On Sunday morning, tropical storm Michael formed and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane over the next couple of days as the National Hurricane Center forecast predicts.
By Wednesday, it is expected to hit land as a category 2 Hurricane Michael in the Northeastern Gulf Coast. The wind speeds range from 60 mph to 105 mph east-southeast from Cozumel, Mexico moving north at a speed of 5 mph. This would result in heavy rainfall, wind and storm which would probably impact the region. Let’s break it down to see how each factor plays its role;
1. Time – Land fall is expected by Wednesday in Florida Big Bend and it depends on how quickly or slowly the system moves north. The center of the storm could approach the Florida coast by Tuesday.
2. Intensity – The storm is predicted to be a category 1 or 2 after landfall. It could be weaker or stronger as predictions can only tell us so much.
3. Wind – Storm winds would be greater than 40 mph and are most likely to arrive by Wednesday. They could rise up to over 75 mph in smaller areas with the possibilities of power outages in the region.
4. Rainfall – As expected, heavy rain would occur inland from the Central Gulf Coast to other parts of Southeastern U.S later in the week. This could result in flooding especially in the Carolina states where hurricane Florence was devastating.
According to Miami herald, Governor Rick Scott has warned Floridans and the local governments to standby with precautions ahead of the tropical storm and acknowledges the fact that it is strengthening. He has declared a state of emergency from Sunday for 26 counties in Florida as the storm would be slow, strong and dangerous. It is indeed a life threatening situation.
Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas in September and as Michael moves inland, it could possibly add to the damage in the form of more unwanted rainfall. The cleanup efforts could be delayed or even postponed due to this so meteorologists are doing everything they can to track and predict the events to come.
Here are some precautions or things you can do to last the storm with ease;
- Make a supply run for groceries and make sure you have enough to last for 2 weeks.
- Lower the temperatures of your fridge or freezer and save as much ice you can.
- Make sure you have an emergency kit in place along with some cash in hand.
- Save plenty of bottled water and shelter your vehicles if you can.
- A portable generator is extremely handy and if you have it, better gas it up and test it.
- Back up your data in external drives move major electronic devices as high as possible.
- During the storm, stay away from trees, wires and glass windows.
- Try not to go out during the storm with the exception of extreme emergencies.
- Be patient and just wait the storm out.