NEW ORLEANS, La. (WWL-TV) – Hurricane Michael formed in the northern Caribbean Sea Monday and is expected to strengthen to become a major hurricane before making landfall in the Florida Panhandle late Wednesday.
As of 1 p.m. Monday, Michael is in the extreme northwest Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The National Hurricane Center’s forecast path expects Michael to become a dangerous Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds at landfall near Panama City, Florida Wednesday.
he latest model runs are in fairly good agreement and keep the system east of Louisiana. The reason for the turn east is that a cold front will sweep in midweek and push Michael east of us. Plus, an area of high pressure just off the southeast US coast will guide Michael around the periphery to the northeast into the Florida panhandle.
There could still be some changes to the forecast – but right now it looks like the center will stay east of Louisiana with the strong winds and heavy rain on the eastern side over Florida.
What can we expect in South Louisiana?
With a landfall to our east, impacts in Louisiana should be low. At this time, this is what we can expect:
1. Coastal flooding of 1-2 feet above ground level along eastern-facing shorelines Monday through early Wednesday due to sustained east winds
2. Rain Tuesday and Wednesday of roughly 1-3 inches for Southeast Louisiana
3. Breezy conditions with east winds of 10-20 mph Monday through Wednesday
We will continue to track it closely and will keep you updated.