CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Michael made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a very powerful Category 4 hurricane near Panama City Florida. Tropical Storm Michael is now impacting the Carolinas.
The center of circulation at 4 a.m. was nearing the Georgia-South Carolina line. Bands of heavy rain now extend from the center of circulation and north-east into the Charlotte metro and north-west into Asheville.
Conditions here in the WBTV viewing area will continue to deteriorate over the next few hours. The heaviest rains and winds will impact us from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Torrential rains and winds gusting as high as 50 mph will start lashing the area late this morning.
Tropical Storm Warning:
Possibly for the first time in history, most of the WBTV viewing area is now under a Tropical Storm Warning. Prepare for damaging winds near tropical storm force greater than 45 mph… and ranging from 39 mph to 57 mph. Downed trees and powerlines will be the greatest threat. Bring in loose objects like lawn furniture that could become projectiles.
A tornado watch has been issued for SC counties in the WBTV viewing area. Quick spin up tornadoes are possible around the center of Michael as it moves into our area. Tornadoes in a tropical storm situation tend to be very weak and short lived. Still, they are tornadoes and can produce significant damage.
Flash Flood Watch:
With torrential rains expected during the morning and afternoon, flash flooding will continue to pose a risk. Several inches of rain are possible over a very short period of time. If you live in a flood prone area pay close attention to rising creeks and streams. And NEVER drive through flooded roadways.
Michael is going to be a quick hitter. By this evening the storm will rapidly depart the area. Rains and winds will come to an end. By early Friday morning skies will be clearing, and we are instore for a fantastic fall weekend.