Michael to gain hurricane strength as it approaches Florida

Frederick Owens
October 11, 2018

As of the 5 a.m. Monday advisory, up to 10 inches of rain is expected near where the storm makes landfall and into southeast Georgia.

"Our state understands how serious tropical weather is and how devastating any hurricane or tropical storm can be", Scott said.

Early Monday morning, Michael had increased wind speeds from 60 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour. A warning for the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, was canceled late Monday.

Now located about 50 miles south of the western tip of Cuba and 140 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, Hurricane Michael is moving north near 7 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center's (NHC) latest advisory. The strengthening tropical storm is predicted to become a hurricane - and even an intense one.

The storm could bring rainfall totals of 3 to 7 inches over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize through Tuesday.

"Floridians also know just how quickly the path of a storm can change and that's why we all must be vigilant and get prepared today". By 5 a.m., maximum sustained speeds were just shy of hurricane strength, at 70 miles per hour. On Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a Storm Surge Watch from Navarre to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay.

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Michael was moving north-northeast at 3 miles per hour off Yucatan Peninsula as of the 5 p.m. Sunday update. Officials also alerted residents living on the coast of the possibility of flooding caused by the storm. This may lead to life-threatening flash floods.

"If this storm hits Panama City, Tampa could still have storm surge", Scott said.

Updates 2:30 p.m. Sunday version with emergency declared, new details: Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday declared a state of emergency in Northwest Florida as a looming hurricane threatens to hammer the region in the middle of the week. The storm is expected to gain hurricane status by Monday night or Tuesday as its center moves over the Yucatan Channel and then crosses the Gulf of Mexico, nearing the Florida Panhandle coast by Wednesday.

The storm brewing in the Caribbean strengthened to become Tropical Storm Michael about noon on Sunday, and experts now expect it to develop into a hurricane that could impact the Carolinas. Hurricane force winds extend 45 miles outside the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outwards 175 miles.

Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, according to hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.

Tropical Depression Fourteen formed overnight south of Cancun, Mexico.

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