Travel Alert October 2018: Hurricane Michael to Impact the Gulf Coast of the United States

If the Gulf Coast of the United States is in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Hurricane Michael, of which landfall of what is forecast to be a powerful Category 3 hurricane could possible occur on the coast of the panhandle of Florida as early as Wednesday evening, October 10, 2018.

Travel Alert October 2018: Hurricane Michael to Impact the Gulf Coast of the United States

Hurricane Michael

Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of this storm — which is currently centered approximately 60 miles north northwest of the western tip of Cuba and is moving north at approximately 12 miles per hour — are 85 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 100 miles per hour. Strengthening to a powerful Category 3 hurricane prior to landfall is not out of the question, as Hurricane Michael is forming as a classic symmetrical storm with a well-defined eye over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on its way to the mainland United States.

Hurricane warnings have already been issued for Florida from the state line it shares with Alabama east to Suwanee River and inland into southwestern Georgia; and tropical storm warnings have been issued for the gulf coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as the coast of Florida from Suwanee River to Chassahowitzka. States of emergency have already been declared for portions of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Additionally, the east coast of the United States — from western Florida to Atlanta to southern New Jersey — will feel the effects of this storm in the form of torrential precipitation, gusty winds, strong rip currents, beach erosion, dangerous surf and isolated tornadoes.

As much as 12 inches of rain could fall in local areas within the path of this storm.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to the Gulf Coast of the United States over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

Here are six airlines which have issued travel alerts — or are at least monitoring the storm — as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for Mobile, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Pensacola and Tallahassee for Tuesday, October 9, 2018 through Thursday, October 11, 2018; and Saturday, October 13, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for Mobile, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Pensacola and Tallahassee for Tuesday, October 9, 2018 through Wednesday, October 10, 2018; and Saturday, October 13, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for 10 airports in four states for Tuesday, October 9, 2018 through Thursday, October 11, 2018; and Thursday, October 18, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Cancún and Havana for Saturday, October 6, 2018 through Tuesday, October 9, 2018; and Tuesday, October 23, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Atlanta for Monday, October 8, 2018 through Friday, October 12, 2018; and Friday, October 26, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • New Orleans, Panama City and Pensacola for Tuesday, October 9, 2018 through Thursday, October 11, 2018; and Thursday, October 25, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued a travel alert for Atlanta for Wednesday, October 10, 2018 through Thursday, October 11, 2018; and Saturday, October 13, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for Pensacola, Atlanta, Birmingham and Tampa for Tuesday, October 9, 2018 through Thursday, October 11, 2018; and Wednesday, October 31, 2018 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Summary

Expect more travel alerts to be issued by more airlines for more areas of the United States as the storm closes in on its Gulf Coast.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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