(Above and Below) Hurricane Michael and high tide combine on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Blind Pass. SC photo by Chuck Larsen Photography
(Above and Below) Hurricane Michael and high tide combine on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Blind Pass. SC photo by Chuck Larsen Photography

Hurricane Michael is forecast to strike the Florida Panhandle at least at Category 3 intensity, driving life-threatening storm surge flooding, destructive winds and flooding rainfall. The hurricane is expected to make landfall Wednesday, Oct. 10, along the Florida Panhandle Gulf Coast and remain 200 miles or more to the west of Sanibel Island.

Sanibel may be impacted by offshore winds of south to southeast direction at 10-15 mph with gusts reaching more than 20 mph through Wednesday morning. A few showers are possible during that time, but rainfall is predicted to be an inch or less. “A tornado or waterspout cannot be ruled out, but chances are low at this point,” according to an update released Monday, Oct. 8, by the City of Sanibel.

While Sanibel is far removed from the storm’s center, Michael is predicted to be one of the most serious hurricanes Florida’s northern Gulf Coast has faced in more than a decade.