A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth and the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel.
Michael is a major category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour while it continues to move across the Gulf of Mexico. Now-Tropical Storm Michael now sits off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwanee River, where Michael could roll ashore on Wednesday. A warning indicates tropical storm conditions are expected, in this case, within 24 hours.
Because of the storm surge threat, three Florida Panhandle counties issued mandatory evacuation orders.
Michael is expected to gradually strengthen and lift northward into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, becoming a hurricane Monday night into Tuesday, according to a press release from the National Weather Service Charleston. A separate area of persistent very heavy rainfall is expected along the Pacific coast of Central America and Mexico, including western Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the state of Chiapas in Mexico.
Michael will likely become a weak category 1 hurricane with heavy rain and unsafe storm surge.
"Michael is forecast to be a hurricane, and possibly a major hurricane, when it reaches the northeastern Gulf Coast by mid-week". It remains a category 1 hurricane and continues to strengthen.
The storm was about 130 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico and moving north-northeast at about 3 mph.
Hurricane Michael derails Florida campaigns weeks before midterm elections
Michael has been upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane as it continues to move toward the Gulf Coast of the United States . An Air Force hurricane hunter airplane was sent into the storm to investigate, the hurricane centre said.
Godsey said winds in the tropical storm range could result in downed trees and power outages.
This system will need to be monitored closely for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
By declaring this state of emergency, Governor Scott is ensuring that state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm.
A tropical storm that rapidly formed off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has gained new strength and could become a risky Category 2 hurricane with an expected midweek strike on the Gulf Coast in the Florida Panhandle, forecasts say.
The "risk of risky storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts continues to increase", the National Hurricane Center warned Sunday.
Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, October 8, 2018, due the presence of Hurricane Michael 2018 which is forecast to become a major hurricane before making landfall on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Keep in mind that in a hurricane, the impacts can stretch hundreds of miles outside the center - including wind, tropical downpours that lead to flooding, storm surge, and tornadoes.
The storm was expected to bring up to 12 inches (30 cm) of rain with storm surges up to 12 feet (3.7 meters), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).