As of Monday morning, Michael was moving north at 7mph with maximum winds near hurricane strength. Its movement speed was only 8 km/h.
Michael is forecast to become a hurricane on Monday night or Tuesday and approach the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday, making landfall along Florida's northern Panhandle region, the NHC said.
Tropical Storm Michael is expected to become a hurricane on Monday and was on track to hit the Florida Panhandle midweek, with the potential to pack winds of at least 100 miles per hour (160 km per hour), the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. A warning for the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, was canceled late Monday.
Storm and storm surge watches were issued for the Gulf Coast from the Mississippi-Alabama border to Chassahowitzka, Florida, north of Tampa Bay.More news: Storm Michael could soon form, hit USA midweek
Governor Scott has also activated 500 national guard troops, and the Florida Highway Patrol is also preparing to activate more than 340 state troopers in 12-hour shifts.
Governor Scott says all Floridians need to be prepared, in case the storm shifts. By Wednesday Michael is set to make landfall somewhere along the Panhandle of Florida and will begin spreading tropical moisture across the southeastern United States.
A hurricane watch is in effect along the Alabama-Florida border down to the Suwanee River.
Assuming Michael does not deviate from the current forecast path, Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay, will see the storm's effect, with that area placed under Tropical Storm and Storm Surge watches. It was moving to the north at 7 miles per hour.More news: Taylor Swift Wins Big at AMAs and Encourages Fans to Vote
Tornadoes are always possible when a hurricane makes landfall, but it's too early to project tornado dangers in any one spot, both forecasters said.
As of Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service's Raleigh office was forecasting 3 inches of rain in central North Carolina from Tuesday through Friday, including chances for rain ahead of Michael's expected arrival.
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.
These strong winds, along with the *much* stronger winds near Michael's center, will lead to rough seas in the Gulf of Mexico through mid week. Officials also alerted residents living on the coast of the possibility of flooding caused by the storm. Tropical storm winds extended out 170 miles (275 kilometers), primarily to the northeast and southeast of the storm's center.More news: China Foreign-Currency Reserves Drop on Trade Tensions, Yuan