Tropical Storm Michael: Florida declares state of emergency in 26 counties

Nicondra Tropical Storm In the Gulf of Mexico Likely

Nicondra Tropical Storm In the Gulf of Mexico Likely Caribbean disturbance Saturday night

Hurricane conditions are expected within the next 12 hours, according to the NHC.

That's why it's important to stay up to speed on forecast updates in the coming days.

Under the Sunday afternoon forecast, tropical storm force winds could arrive at the earliest in SC by Wednesday morning and in most of North Carolina by Wednesday night.

Satellite wind data indicated the depression had strengthened Sunday morning with maximum winds of 40 miles per hour.

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.

Scott said Michael could turn into a Category 2 storm with winds topping 100 miles per hour and could bring damaging storm surge.

The risk of life-threatening storm surges, heavy rainfall and unsafe winds are increasing for the northeastern Gulf Coast.

Despite wind shear being in place, Michael continues to gain strength! The forecast called for the storm's eye to move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico between Monday night and Tuesday night and approach the Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Parts of the Florida panhandle near Pensacola down to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay, are under storm surge watch.

The Florida Keys are expected to get 2 to 4 inches of rain, and the Yucatan Peninsula could get 1 to 2 inches of rain. It was also about 135 miles (215 kilometers) south-southwest of the western tip of Cuba. The storm is moving to the due north at 7 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee said: "This is a storm to definitely take very seriously". On Sunday, CEMA urged residents to maintain awareness of the storm.

"Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of the Carolinas through Thursday", the hurricane center said. It's not uncommon for it to flood in St. Augustine during hurricanes and bad storms. By declaring this state of emergency, Gov. Scott said he is ensuring that state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm.

Based on the current projections for its path and timing, parts of the tristate area could see tropical rainfall and be affected by the storm's winds. If Tropical Depression Fourteen becomes a storm, it will be named Michael.

The hurricane center advised residents along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf Coast to monitor the storm's progress.

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