Michael continues to strengthen, expect strong to damaging winds Thursday.

Tracking Hurricane Michael at 6 p.m.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Tuesday evening Hurricane Michael had winds speeds of 90mph, which is a high end Category 1 hurricane. On the current track, Michael will continue to gain strength before making landfall along the Florida Panhandle as a high end Category 3 storm with 115mph winds. The 11 p.m. advisory gave us a better idea how fast the hurricane deceases in wind speed, actually a tropical storm by reaching Colquitt, Georgia in southwest Georgia by 8pm Wednesday evening.

We need to be prepared for a prolonged wind event with 30-40mph wind gusts throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. Select cities north of I-16 and well west of I-95 like Swainsboro and Sylvania and Hampton could have the highest wind gusts of 50-60mph. This will likely result in widespread power outages Thursday, so prepare now. Tornadoes are a possibility Thursday.

Locally, Wednesday and Thursday are First Alert Weather Days.

Appling, Bacon and Jeff Davis counties are now under a Tropical Storm Watch as of 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8.


5PM ADVISORY FOR HURRICANE MICHAEL 10/8: The hurricane has strenghthened a little as it moves past Cuba. It should go through rapid intesification through the Gulf of Mexico until it makes landfall Wed afternoon as a Cat 3 with 115mph winds. It will be transitioning from a hurricane to tropical storm close to Macon. Hurricane force winds extend 35 miles away from the center of rotation, so that's not really a concern for the WTOC-TV viewing area but most of us are at risk for 30-40mph winds as Tropical Storm force winds extend out 170miles. If if you're close to the center of rotation, gusts of 50mph possible. Rainfall looks to be less now from 1-4 inches, but tornado risk still there.

Posted by WTOC Jamie Ertle on Monday, October 8, 2018

Regardless of timing, tropical storm conditions remain possible. Plan for at least isolated severe weather and scattered power outages Wednesday and Thursday.

· Scattered, to widespread, power outages are possible

· Scattered tree and power line damage

· Coastal flooding may spread saltwater into typical flood-prone areas along the immediate coast

· Heavy downpours may cause street flooding; inland river flooding is unlikely

· Isolated, fast-moving, tornadoes

Take the time leading up to nasty weather, to review your hurricane plan and check your supply kit. Plan for a few days without power. Ensure that you have a way to receive severe weather alerts, even if the power goes out.

A lot of information will be coming your way over the next few days. Stay tuned; on TV, at wtoc.com and in the WTOC Weather App.

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