Florida governor warns storm could have winds of 100 mph

This satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a view of Tropical Storm Michael, lower right, churning as it heads toward the Florida Panhandle, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at 6:52 p.m. Eastern Time. (NOAA via AP)

An intensifying tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico off the Yucatán Peninsula could track northeast and impact the Golden Isles by Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Michael, the 13th named storm of 2018, was upgraded to a named storm around 2 p.m. Sunday and could bring tornadoes and between 1-2 inches of rainfall to Glynn County on Wednesday, said Scott Cordero, chief meteorologist of the National Weather Service office in Jacksonville.

“Probably for rainfall, it’s going to move pretty rapidly through the Golden Isles,” Cordero said Sunday evening. “The trend has been going further east, but with that said, the interior of Southeast Georgia could see tornadoes, especially east of U.S. (Highway) 301 and along the immediate coast, including y’all (the Golden Isles) as rain bands come ashore.”

Tropical Storm Michael could be upgraded to a hurricane and make landfall along the Florida panhandle between Interstate 75 and Tallahassee by Wednesday, although Cordero cautioned it is early to predict the storm’s path.

Cities like Waycross and Jesup could see winds of up to 58 mph, Cordero said. There is a 40 percent chance the Golden Isles will see tropical storm force winds of between 39 and 73 mph beginning Wednesday.

Georgia’s “Breakfast counties” — Coffee, Bacon, Jeff Davis and surrounding areas — could see increased likelihood of tornadoes.

Glynn County’s emergency management chief, Jay Wiggins, said Sunday his office is monitoring the storm and making preliminary preparations.

“It’s still a little early,” he said by phone. “There could be a change in the tract, but it does look like we’ll see some impacts. We are encouraging people to stay alert and monitor the weather.”

People can search “Glynn County EMA and Homeland Security” on Facebook for county emergency management agency updates, or they can Google search “NWS JAX Briefing” for regularly scheduled updates from the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.

Wiggins reminded people Sunday that if a tornado occurs, people should move to a building’s interior room, preferably one without windows. Bathtubs make great shelters, he added.

For more information about how to prepare for extreme weather, visit www.ready.ga.gov or glynn county.org. The Brunswick News will provide updates about the storm as they become available.

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