The hurricane center's current forecast track shows the storm is expected to strengthen further and could hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category I hurricane on Wednesday.
While in the Gulf, models are indicating that Michael may strengthen and become a hurricane before reaching the northeastern Gulf Coast.
The governor warned that storm surge could affect areas of Florida not in the storm's direct path. While it will be windy, the chances of us seeing winds of tropical storm force are low.
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Tropical Storm Michael became the 13th named storm of the season in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday afternoon. Tropical Depression 14 is expected to become Tropical Storm Micheal by this evening or tonight as it reaches the coast within the warning area, making outside preparations hard or risky.
The "risk of risky storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts continues to increase", the National Hurricane Center warned Sunday.
Satellite wind data indicated the depression had strengthened Sunday morning with maximum winds of 40 miles per hour.
Once it reaches land, Michael is forecast to weaken into a tropical storm when it passes through the East Coast, including the NY metro area by Friday morning.
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According to the Hurricane Center advisory, Michael had reached maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with higher gusts late Sunday morning and was moving north at 5 miles per hour. The center of the storm is then expected to move across Georgia as a tropical storm, before moving across the Carolinas and southeast Virginia before going back out to sea by next weekend.
7-day rainfall forecast from the National Weather Service.
Below is additional information from the National Hurricane Center.
The latest forecast cone now gets Michael to hurricane status by Wednesday, which remains the most likely date for landfall.
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