Hurricane Michael upgrades to a major Category 3 hurricane

Sam Chaney, Managing Editor

The state of Florida started to hunker down as, just hours prior to its expected landfall on Oct. 9, Hurricane Michael strengthened to a major Category 3 hurricane.

As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Hurricane Michael’s maximum sustained winds increased to near 120 mph with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center’s most recent update.

“Michael is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening is expected, and Michael is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall in Florida,” the update said. “Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves through the southeastern United States.”

Hurricane Michael has upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane and will continue a northeastward movement. Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.

A Storm Surge Watch is currently in effect for Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay, as well as the Alabama/Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line, Florida.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River, Florida.

“Hurricane Michael will be here TONIGHT,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. “This is your LAST CHANCE to get prepared for this monstrous and deadly storm. The state is not taking this storm lightly and neither should any family.”

Hurricane Michael is forecast to move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight prior to making landfall over Florida’s panhandle. From there, it is expected to continue a northeastward motion over Wednesday and Thursday.

Spinnaker will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.

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