5AM Thursday: Michael Now A Tropical Storm

Miami, Fla. (970 WFLA)-At 5:00 AM EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Michael was located near latitude 33.5 North, longitude 82.5 West. Michael is moving toward the northeast near 21 mph and this motion is expected to continue with an increase in forward speed through tonight.  A turn toward the east-northeast and an even faster forward speed are expected on Friday. 

On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move through eastern Georgia into central South Carolina this morning, then moves across portions of central and eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia into the Atlantic Ocean by late tonight or early Friday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 50 mph with higher gusts.  Some additional weakening is expected today while the center remains over land.  However, Michael is forecast to intensify as it becomes a post-tropical low over the Atlantic late tonight or early Friday.Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles mainly to the southeast of the center.  

Louisville, Georgia recently reported a wind gust of 60 mph, and there are several reports of wind gusts of 40-50 mph in the Augusta area.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on surface observations is 983 mb (29.03 inches).

Tropical storm conditions are occurring over portions of eastern and southeastern Georgia, and will spread across portions of central and southern South Carolina this morning.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread northward within the warning area along the southeast U.S. coast beginning this morning through Friday.

Gale- to storm-force winds are expected over portions of southeastern Virginia, extreme northeastern North Carolina, and the Delmarva Peninsula as Michael becomes post-tropical off the Mid-Atlantic coast late tonight or early Friday.

Michael is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 7 inches from eastern Georgia to the southern Mid-Atlantic states and 1 to 3 inches over the northern Mid-Atlantic states and coastal southern New England.  Isolated maximum amounts of 9 inches are possible in North Carolina and Virginia.  This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.

Isolated tornadoes are possible today over portions of eastern South Carolina, eastern and central North Carolina, and southeast Virginia.

Graphic credit: NHC Miami

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