'Monstrous' Hurricane Michael forecast to hit Gulf Coast as a major hurricane

Chance of tropical depression or tropical storm developing in Gulf has increased

Chance of tropical depression or tropical storm developing in Gulf has increased

As of 5 a.m. ET Monday, Tropical Storm Michael was centered about 90 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said. Those two flows interacting together will keep Michael moving nearly due north.

The tropical storm is expected to swell into a Category 1 hurricane as soon as Monday night or early Tuesday as it rolls into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, with winds of at least 70 miles per hour, forecasters said.

"This storm will be different from the most recent Hurricane Florence, in that it will continue moving as it makes landfall and limit catastrophic rain potential, however, some rain totals near landfall could still near or exceed one foot or 12".

Below is the Futurecast showing timing of showers & storms as Michael tracks northward.

After reaching land, Michael is expected to travel northeast at hurricane strength as it passes over Georgia.

The next tropical storm name on the hurricane center's list is Michael.

Outer bands from Michael are expected to produce up to 4 inches (10 cm) of rain through Tuesday in the Florida Keys, one of several areas in the state devastated by Hurricane Irma previous year. A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwanee River.

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A news release from the Governor's office stated that declaring a state of emergency ensures that state and local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to prepare for the storm.

Godsey said winds in the tropical storm range could result in downed trees and power outages. That's when Michael will be moving through our area, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds.

As of the 5 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Michael had sustained winds of 140 miles per hour with stronger gusts.

As of Monday evening, Michael was a Category 1 Hurricane, with winds of 135 km/h.

Aside from winds potentially nearing 200 km/h, the storm's main impacts are expected to include extreme rainfall (up to and exceeding 250 mm in the worst-hit areas of the panhandle), flooding, the the potential for "life-threatening" mudslides in mountainous areas along its route.

The NHC says that Michael is expected to cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline because of a risky storm surge and tide.

Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, according to hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen. On Sunday, CEMA urged residents to maintain awareness of the storm. A warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the designated area, and warnings are typically issued 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected, the weather service said.

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