hurricane

Cat 3 Hurricane Michael Arrives In SW Georgia

8 hours ago

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 early Wednesday afternoon and moved into southwest Georgia as a Category 3 storm, officials said.

A tornado watch was issued until 2 a.m. Thursday for most of the state and tornado warnings have been issued as far north as Cobb County.


Weather hurricane michael hurricane
Brendan Farrington / Associated Press

Hurricane Michael makes landfall in Florida on Wednesday. The hurricane is expected to hit the northeastern coast of Georgia and continue through the southwest and center of the state, according to the National Weather Service.

We spoke with Marshall Shepherd, the program director for atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia, about tracking the hurricane over the week and how meterologists convey the severity of storms. We also spoke with Gwen Cooper, an author and pet rescue expert about what to do with pets during extreme weather.


Gov. Nathan Deal's office

Barely a month after cleanup from the last major hurricane to hit the Southeast, Hurricane Michael is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida Panhandle and damaging winds through Georgia, officials say.

About 10 a.m. Tuesday, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in 92 counties in the state.

Michael is expected to make landfall Wednesday as a Category 3 major hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

J. Cindy Hill / GPB News

The latest forecasts show Hurricane Florence making landfall in the Carolinas, but the storm’s already causing dangerous conditions on Georgia’s beaches.

Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

The effects of the first named storm of 2018 claimed lives before the official start of hurricane season, but leaders with Georgia Power, the National Weather Service and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency have been investing in technology, planning and preparing.

Despite advances in technology, the best resource for damage assessment after a storm is "boots on the ground," Georgia Power's David Maske said at a hurricane summit last week.


NOAA

Friday marks the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season, which stretches from June 1 to Nov. 30, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

This year, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center forecasts a 40 percent chance of a normal season, and a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season. 

Today's coastal news headlines include:

  • Savannah joins growing number of Georgia municipalities suing opioid makers
  • First stand-alone ER is coming to South Carolina's Lowcountry
  • Hurricane "Cone of Uncertainty" is shrinking

In the wake of back-to-back natural disasters, insurance companies are flooded with claims for destroyed property. For many, there's doubt about the willingness and ability of those insurance providers to handle the millions of dollars in damage. We sit down with Carrie Teegardin, an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, to discuss her reporting as part of our occasional series, “AJC Investigates.” 

Where will it go? How strong will it be? When will it hit? Those are the answers everyone wants — not the least of which are the hurricane forecasters themselves.

To get those answers, hundreds of millions of data points — everything from wind speeds to sea temperatures — pouring in from satellites, aircraft, balloons, buoys and ground stations are fed into the world's fastest computers and programmed with a variety of models at different resolutions, some looking at the big picture, others zooming in much closer.

America seems to be a magnet for devastating hurricanes these days.

This year, Harvey came out strong with its horrific toll on parts of Texas and Louisiana. Now Irma, downgraded slightly Friday morning to a Category 4 storm from its most recent days as a Category 5, has left destruction in its wake as it plows through the Caribbean and Cuba — and is on path to hit Florida Sunday morning.

NOAA

 

 

Hotels across the South are booking up, as people leave the coast ahead of Hurricane Irma.

All it takes is a quick look at any of the online booking sites to see. Georgia’s hotel rooms are sold out. Brigette Lee is the director of sales of the Holiday Inn on the north side of Macon, Georgia. She says people leaving the South Carolina barrier islands beat Floridians to the punch by looking for rooms as long ago as last Friday.

Forecasters say the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins Thursday, could bring "above-normal" storm activity. Residents along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are making sure they have supplies and plans in place if a storm hits.

National Hurricane Center

As Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti and Cuba Tuesday, emergency management officials on the Georgia and South Carolina coasts urged residents to prepare for possible effects of the storm later in the week.

City of Savannah

Savannah’s 911 Dispatch Center received more than 2,400 calls for service Friday, after Tropical Storm Hermine crossed Southeast Georgia.

City officials say the major impact of the storm was from downed trees and power lines caused by heavy winds. Georgia Power officials say over 100,000 people experienced outages across the state, the majority in Savannah and Brunswick, according to The Savannah Morning News.