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.
"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.
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Despite Tuesday, March 20 marking the first day of spring, it certainly will not feel like it to those in the mid-Atlantic, where a quick-hitting snow event is expected.
A spell of unseasonable warmth in Germany will be replaced by arctic cold through Sunday as the “Beast from the East” returns.
Lives and property will be in severe danger across northern and eastern Madagascar as a potent tropical cyclone unloads torrential rain through Sunday night.
As a second storm in three days pushes east of the Rockies, locally severe storms may erupt over parts of the south-central United States into Sunday night.
Conditions are ideal for wildfire ignition and rapid spread over the southern Plains into Friday night.
This weekend will bring a great opportunity for stargazers to see the zodiacal light, an eerie glow near the horizon which is only visible around the equinox.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston will go on and so will winter for this year's festivities.