Weeks after Hurricane Florence flooded the Eastern Seaboard, a second hurricane threatens to wade up into the Carolinas—but Durham should avoid the brunt of this storm. 

Once a tropical storm, Hurricane Michael is expected to strike the Florida Panhandle with "at least" Category 3 winds of 74-plus mph. Unlike Florence, which brewed in the Atlantic, Michael has picked up steam in the Caribbean and is currently near Cuba. 

Wes Hohenstein, chief meteorologist at CBS 17, wrote in a message to The Chronicle that Durham may expect rainfall of roughly two to four inches, with wind gusts up to 40 or 50 miles per hour. According to Hohenstein—unlike slow-moving Florence that stagnated after landfall to drop a large amount of water through several days—will be moving quickly enough that it can be handled with "no problems." 

 "This still remains a fast moving system and one day event for our area, but it could still be impactful Thursday afternoon and evening," Hohenstein wrote. 

Hohenstein said that the storm will be much less impactful than previous hurricanes that struck the area. 

"This will be nothing like Florence and nothing like Matthew that hit two years ago today," Hohenstein wrote Monday. 

Hohenstein also noted that much could change depending on the storm's track, which could change between Tuesday and Thursday. 

The hurricane is expected to make landfall in the United States Wednesday night. Florida Governor Rick Scott has activated 500 members of the state's national guard in preparation for the storm.

The National Hurricane Center has warned that a "life-threatening" storm surge is likely to strike the Panhandle. As of Monday afternoon, Michael is projected to be the first major hurricane to slam the Panhandle since 2005. 

The Atlantic Basin has seen seven hurricanes this year. On average, the area has had about five by this time. 


Editor's note: This story was updated Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. to reflect an increase in rainfall projections from one to two inches to two to four inches and include details about wind gusts.