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 risk of flooding downpours and gusty thunderstorms will increase across southern Florida as a tropical disturbance shifts northwestward from Cuba this weekend.
Stargazers will want to dig out their binoculars and telescopes this weekend as Venus and Jupiter shine so close that they appear as one large, bright star in the evening sky.
Typhoon Lionrock is poised to make landfall in Japan early in the new week with heavy rainfall, damaging winds and an inundating storm surge.
Hawaii is facing not one, but two tropical threats next week as Madeline and Lester churn westward.
Slow-moving and repetitive downpours will raise the risk for flash flooding along the western Gulf Coast into early next week.
Hot and dry weather will greet fans and competitors at the 2016 U.S. Open Tennis Championships in Flushing, New York, as play begins Monday, Aug. 29.
Mt. Washington, NH (1856)
A total of 3 inches of snow on peak of mountain.
Georgia & South Carolina (1881)
335 died in a hurricane. The most severe damage was in Savannah and Charleston.
South Carolina (1893)
First of 3 great hurricanes that year in SC. Over 1,000 people drowned in tidal surge at Charleston.