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.
Chicago will not catch a break from the bitter cold anytime soon, as more cold air heads to the city this week.
It has rained every day so far this month, except Dec. 1 around Atlanta. That trend will continue through Tuesday.
More waves of Arctic air are in the offing for Detroit this week.
After ending the weekend on a slick note, more cold air will dominate weather headlines this week.
Philadelphia International Airport received more snow (8.6 inches) from a single storm this past Sunday than it did all of last winter, when 8.3 inches fell.
After a day of heavy snow across the mid-Atlantic, ice and rain are adding to power outages, flight delays and hazardous road conditions.
Western New York (1995)
Heavy lake-effect snow brought 37.9" of snow to the Buffalo airport in 24 hours. This broke the old 24-hour record of 25.3" set in January 10-11, 1982. Other months included: Buffalo (Delaware Park) 33" Buffalo (Allentown) 33" Williamsville 32" Clarence 31" North Buffalo 27"
Bend, OR (1919)
28" snowfall set state 24 hour mark.
Baltimore City (1878)
28.73" barometric pressure - Dec. record.