The National Hurricane Center has hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge warnings for more than 300 miles of coast. Influences on the formation, direction and strength of hurricanes can involve faraway events like dry air from Saharan dust storms, the heated waters of El Niño in the Pacific, the undulations of the jet stream.
Powerful Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with terrifying winds of 155 miles per hour Wednesday, splintering homes and submerging neighbourhoods before continuing its destructive march inland across the Southeast.
"This is really an fantastic event", said Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.
At least 13 people reportedly died in Central America over the weekend as a result of storm rains and floods.
Her home was reduced to crumbled cinderblocks and pieces of floor tile.
At 11:00 am Eastern time (1500 GMT), Michael was dumping heavy rainfall on South and North Carolina, where cities and towns are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.
Several hours after the hurricane made landfall, the eye of the storm had moved out of the Panhandle and was just west of Albany, Georgia, the NHC said. Simply put, with warmer seas, storms ought to be able to pull this off more often.
At an election rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night, Trump offered his "thoughts and prayers" to those in the path of the storm and said he would visit Florida soon.
"The shear was high, so nobody expected it was going to intensify this rapidly", Jiang said. It was the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Panhandle. After Hurricane Irma, a field hospital operated in the Florida Keys for more than a year.
The hurricane disrupted energy operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as it approached land, cutting crude oil production by more than 40 percent and natural gas output by almost one-third as offshore platforms were evacuated. But as the world heats up, we can expect stronger storms, said Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
"The rich get richer", he said.
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Harvey and Michael didn't strengthen quite so much, so fast, but they rapidly intensified in the crucial hours before making their final continental US landfalls. A major report from the United Nations group known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted weather crises around the world if nations fail to take serious action to curb the greenhouse gases that are causing the planet to grow hotter. Modern models predicting warming have been borne out in thousands of studies showing phenomena like rising ocean temperatures and shrinking glaciers.
"It's historic, it's extremely life-threatening", said Kenneth Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, said. Storm surge, with forecasts of up to 14 feet in some areas, remained a major concern.
One of the hardest-hit spots was Mexico Beach, where Michael crashed ashore as a Category 4 monster with 155mph winds. Usually by this time in the Atlantic accounts for about 5 hurricanes.
On the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, category 4 includes winds of up to 156mph with possible severe damage to even well-built homes and trees being felled. The hurricane was moving north at 12 miles per hour.
Vance Beu, 29, was staying with his mother at her home, Spring Gate Apartments, a complex of single-story wood frame buildings where they piled up mattresses around themselves for protection.
Now "Michael", weakened to a tropical storm, moving North and SC, which had not yet recovered from the hurricane "Florence," killed in September 44.
More than 5,000 people were in 34 shelters that have been opened across the region.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for.
"This situation has NEVER happened before", it said on Twitter. "You want to check on things, and begin the recovery process", Scott said.
He drew an analogy to our wardrobes. "You can rebuild your home, you cannot rebuild your life".