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.
A storm will bring snow and ice that will lead to slippery travel along a 1,500-mile swath from northern Arkansas and Georgia to Maine early next week.
The coldest air of the winter will plunge southward across much of the eastern United States and will feature single-digit and sub-zero temperatures in the Northeast during Valentine's Day weekend.
A blast of arctic air will be accompanied by flurries and even a localized wall of snow in some communities in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest at the start of the Valentine's Day weekend.
The next windstorm to target Europe will narrowly miss the United Kingdom on Saturday before a cold snap settles in for Valentine’s Day and Monday.
Spring of 2016 could rank in the top 10 warmest on record for Canada.
Passengers on the latest voyage of Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas faced the complete opposite of a care-free, relaxing experience after an encounter with a ferocious storm in the Atlantic.
Great Atlantic Coast Blizzard (1899)
(12th-14th) Boston. . . Storm total of 16 in. Winds gusted to 65 mph at Blue Hill Observatory on the 12th and maintained an average of 50 mph through- out the entire day. 24-36 in. reported of snow just north in vicinity of Beverly. THE BOSTON HERALD declared: "Rarely, if ever, has Boston been so completely snowbound (until Feb. 1978...) as it has been by this blizzard." At the end of the storm depth measured 23 in. in Boston... the greatest depth in 98 years of records from 1871-1969.
Ifrane, Morocco (1935)
-11 degrees - coldest ever in Africa.
Lake Placid, NY (1980)
Finally some snow. Just in time for the opening ceremonies at the Olympic town.