Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Tropical Storm Michael Will Become a Hurricane Monday

Tropical Storm Michael Will Become a Hurricane Monday

By Wednesday, Michael will likely move inland over the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, making its way across the southeastern USA that night and Thursday morning.

The center of Michael is expected to move across the Yucatán Channel - a strait between Mexico and Cuba - Monday, slowly making its way across the eastern Gulf of Mexico through Wednesday.

A powerful storm called "Michael" is churning off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula - and with maximum sustained winds around 75 miles per hour, it's officially a Category 1 hurricane.

The storm surge, which is the rise on ocean water at the coast above normally dry land, could reach at least 8 to 12 feet, inundating roads, homes, and businesses at the coast.

A Storm Surge Watch has been issued from Navarre, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely unsafe", Scott warned at a press briefing, according to local station News Channel 5.

Hurricane season 2018 isn't slowing down just yet.

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A hurricane warning is in effect for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio and tropical storm warnings are posted for the Isle of Youth in Cuba and the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel.

Scott activated 500 National Guard troops in advance of the storm.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum canceled campaign events in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the storm, his campaign said. It has also been warned that isolated tornadoes could develop in the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia.

Weather Underground's Jeff Masters and Bob Henson projected that the surge could even reach 19 feet in a worst case scenario.

The storm will more than likely strengthen during the next few days with winds reaching a Category 2 hurricane, or possibly higher when it reaches the northeastern Gulf on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"Michael is forecast to be near or at major hurricane strength when it reaches the northeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday", said a 7 a.m. update from the center. "The potentially worst impact will be the storm surge, which could be anywhere from 2-4 feet".

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Florida panhandle, and a tropical storm watch is in effect much of Florida's west coast, reports the center.

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