Michael could strengthen into a major hurricane, the term for storms reaching Category 3 and higher, with winds topping 111 miles per hour by Tuesday night before an expected strike Wednesday on the Panhandle or Big Bend, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Earlier it said Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall, and hurricane-force winds, with storm surge and hurricane watches in effect.
Florida State University campuses in Tallahassee and Panama City plan to close Tuesday through Friday.
That's the biggest news coming out of the 2 a.m. Tuesday advisory from the National Hurricane Center, who now peg max sustained winds around the storm's eye at 130 miles per hour with gusts hitting 155 miles per hour.
Hurricane Michael is getting stronger, now a major Category 3 hurricane as it races toward the Panhandle of Florida.
After hitting Florida, the storm is forecast to move up the East Coast on Wednesday and Thursday and batter the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month. Scott also said Monday afternoon that state health officials are reaching out to hospitals and nursing homes to be prepared.
"Take this seriously and keep your family safe", Scott said. A slight risk of severe weather has been outlined for central Georgia for today and tonight for the threat of spin-up tornadoes.
"If a storm damages your home, call your insurance agent or company first", said Samantha Sexton, vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs for the Federation. From Navarre, westward to the Baldwin County line, a Storm Surge Watch covers that area.
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Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).
The category-1 hurricane left dozens dead in the Carolinas and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage.
Michael was lashing western Cuba on Monday with heavy rains and strong winds.
A tropical weather system rapidly strengthened into Hurricane Michael off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and forecasters said it was moving Monday into the Gulf of Mexico where warm waters would continue to fuel its development.
"Alabama is once again in the path of a hurricane, but I know Alabamians will once again come together and be prepared for whatever Michael may bring", Governor Ivey said. "The potentially worst impact will be the storm surge".
Tropical storm strength wind gusts will be possible across Middle Georgia during the time period from Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.