Forecasters predict Hampton Roads could feel the storm's impact by Thursday or Friday.

As Hurricane Michael intensifies in the Carribean near western Florida on Tuesday, meteorologists predict the now-Category 2 hurricane will bring tropical storm-like winds and torrential rains to Hampton Roads later this week.

Forecasters predict the region will see 3 to 6 inches of heavy rain Thursday night and Friday morning. The storm could bring winds of 39 miles per hour or more.

"Ironically, we'll feel this one a lot more than we did Florence," said Jeff Orrock, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service's Wakefield office.

However, it's unlikely that Michael, a Category-2 hurricane continuing to intensify as of Tuesday, will even be a tropical storm by the time it gets to Virginia.

On its current predicted path set to head north, Hurricane Michael is expected to weaken to a tropical storm as it moves up the coast. Before hitting Hampton Roads, Michael will likely be downgraded to a "strong area of low pressure." 

Image result for hurricane michael tracker virginia

Courtesy of NOAA

Orrock explains Michael's predicted impact on southeastern Virginia.

"Michael will be interacting with a cold front, and the worst rain is expected along and north of the storm track," Orrock says. "With the consensus for the track to be in North Carolina, that would put us in the area of the most rain."

"We're looking at about a five-hour window for the worst of the rain," he says. "The good thing is that the storm is going to be moving fast."

hurricane michael virginia

Courtesy of Cyclocane

However, meteorologists say this means the rain will be short-lived, and unlikely to bring significant flooding to the area. If we have any big problems, they will most likely come from tropical storm-force winds.

Forecasters at Norfolk's 13 News report:

"Our biggest threat will be the potential of tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or stronger. Exactly what the effects will be here locally will depend on the strength it attains before it hits land, and then the pace of weakening once it travels up the interior Southeast Coast.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Hurricane Michael is currently aiming at the Florida coast with sustained winds of 110 mph. Meteorologists say Michael is poised to make landfall somewhere along the Florida panhandle on Wednesday, and could possibly increase to a Category 3 hurricane. If so, it may be the Florida panhandle's strongest storm to make landfall in over 13 years.

Keep watching your local weather channel for updates.

Are you ready for the storm? Let us know your plans, and keep monitoring the news and local reports for updates.

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