Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday with potentially catastrophic winds of 155 miles per hour, the most powerful hurricane to hit the US mainland in almost 50 years.
Michael is forecast to move off the Mid-Atlantic coast by early Friday, the NHC said.
Here is the storm's latest forecast bubble ... SURF: Swells generated by Michael are affecting the coasts of the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico, and will spread to portions of the northwestern and western Gulf of Mexico coast during the next day or so.
The storm's rapid intensification over the past two days, despite shifting winds, "defies traditional logic", according to hurricane forecasters.
The speed of the storm barreling toward the Florida Panhandle - Michael was moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour (19 kph) - was among the hazards worrying forecasters at the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday morning.
"I feel like that they should've provided something", she said.
NOAA's National Hurricane Center or NHC noted on October 9 that life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall can be expected along the northeastern gulf coast as Michael continues to move toward landfall.
A number mandatory evacuations have been ordered in Florida counties ahead of Michael.
Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced an extension Tuesday morning that will allow county supervisors to accept paper voter-registration applications when they reopen from the storm. The core of Michael will move across eastern Georgia into Central South Carolina on Thursday morning. Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves across the southeastern United States.
A hurricane warning is in effect from the Alabama-Florida state line east to the Suwannee River. By that time, Michael is forecast to have winds of 125 miles per hour.
As Hurricane Michael gains strength and heads toward Florida, some are seeing an eerie sight popping up in satellite images from the center of the storm.a skull.
Trump issued an emergency declaration for Florida, freeing up federal funds for relief operations and providing the assistance of FEMA, which has more than 3,000 people on the ground. "It looks like another big one".
Severe flooding, heavily damaged buildings, uprooted trees and downed power lines appeared widespread in coastal areas near the storm's landfall.
The governor activated 750 National Guardsmen for storm response on Monday, on top of the 500 activated the day before. He chose the spot where his house stands on tall stilts overlooking the Gulf waters in 1972 after it was the only lot left dry after a storm flooded the beach that year. Authorities were also searching for a boy swept away by a river in Guatemala.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for.
"It feels like you don't know when the next tree is going to fall on top of you because its blowing so ferociously", he said by telephone.
Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 35 counties along the Panhandle and Florida's Big Bend regions, mostly rural areas known for small tourist cities, beaches and wildlife reserves, and the state capital, Tallahassee.