Michael, the 13th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, became the first major hurricane of the season early Thursday morning as it moved northeastward in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Rapid intensification from a tropical storm to a Category 3 storm occurred in less than 12 hours as Michael entered a very favorable environment.
As of 5:00 p.m. EDT Thursday, Michael had become slightly weaker and was downgraded to a Category 2 storm. Michael should remain a Category 2 storm into Saturday, before possible weakening into a Category 1 storm occurs later Saturday night or Sunday, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Satellite loop of Michael from NOAA.
"As Leslie intensifies and becomes larger, it should influence the northward movement of Michael early next week. This will also exert increased shear over the storm [Michael], causing it weaken," Kottlowski stated.
Michael's path will also be over colder water, another factor that will favor weakening.
Michael will continue to stay away from any land mass during the next several days.
Besides Michael and Leslie, which is predicted to impact Bermuda and then Atlantic Canada, there is an area of thunderstorms associated with a piece of Isaac in the northern Gulf and another wave in the eastern Atlantic that will require watching in the coming days.
The first widespread ice storm of the season will slowly diminish over parts of the southern and central Plains, but areas of slippery travel will continue into Sunday morning.
After another brief shot of chilly air over the weekend, the month of December will start out milder across the Northeast.
The reprieve from heavy rain across southern India will not last with the threat for flooding downpours set to return for the final days of November.
December will begin with a roar across the Northwest as rounds of rain, mountain snow and even ice are in store into late week.
The strongest El Nino in 50 years will unfold this winter and significantly alter the chances for a white Christmas across the country.
As millions head home from their Thanksgiving ventures the weather may cause trouble on the roads and at the airports from the southern Appalachians to the central Rockies on Sunday.
Pillar Point, CA (1991)
68-mph winds on the Pacific shore near San Francisco.
Havre, MT (1896)
Minus 51 degrees.
New England (1945)
Severe "nor'easter" in New England - winds in Boston averaged 40.5 mph over a 24-hour period. The rain changed to snow which accumulated to 16 inches in interior New England. Thirty-tree deaths were attributed to the storm.