A Destin, Florida, resident got a quick swim in before Hurricane Michael began to slam into the Florida coastline.
At 11 a.m., the NHC said that the storm has 145 mph winds and is forecast to hit in the afternoon.
“Michael is an extremely impressive hurricane in visible and infrared satellite imagery this morning. The eye has continued to warm and become even more distinct, while remaining embedded within an area of very cold cloud tops. Data from NOAA and U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the pressure has continued to fall this morning and is now around 928 mb,” reads a discussion from the NHC.
It was forecast to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon on Florida’s Panhandle and could drive sea water levels as high as 14 feet above normal in some areas, the center said. The storm could still strengthen further before coming ashore, it said.
“Michael will produce potentially catastrophic wind damage where the core of the hurricane moves onshore later today in the Florida Panhandle, with the highest risk between Apalachicola and Panama City,” according to the NHC’s discussion of the storm. “Life-threatening storm surge is occurring along portions of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast. The worst storm surge is expected later today and tonight between Tyndall Air Force Base and Keaton Beach, where 9 to 14 feet of inundation is possible,” it added.
“Satellite images of Michael’s evolution on Tuesday night were, in a word, jaw-dropping,” wrote Bob Henson, a meteorologist with weather site Weather Underground.
Governor Rick Scott said on Twitter on Wednesday morning that it was too late to evacuate the target zone and that people who had stayed should immediately seek refuge.
Reuters contributed to this report
From The Epoch Times