Track Hurricane Michael: Spaghetti models, forecast cone and satellite

Courtesy MGN

Courtesy MGN

The NHC has issued a tropical storm watch from the Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay.

A hurricane watch has been declared for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River in Florida.

The Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and southern Georgia were expected to receive as much as 8 inches (20 cm) of rainfall, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches that may lead to severe flash flooding.

The NHC has forecast that Michael is slated to strengthen and will bring heavy rains, damaging winds, and storm surge.

A satellite image of Tropical Storm Michael taken Monday. Another Watch is in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Scott issued an order for a state of emergency for 26 counties in the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend area. As Micheal moves north the storm will continue to strengthen, and it could become a major Category 3 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico by midweek.

An Air Force hurricane hunter airplane was sent into the storm to investigate, the hurricane centre said.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said Sunday after receiving a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center. Scott also activated 500 members of the Florida National Guard ahead of the storm.

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For us here in the Tennessee Valley, the system could help enhance showers and storms in North Alabama mid-week, but significant impacts still look to be confined to the south and southeast. The situation is a good example of how volatile a hurricane can be for a politician and illustrates the baggage that already exists as Michael approaches.

Michael's maximum sustained winds had reached 70 miles per hour, it said.

Less than 24 hours later, on Monday, Micheal became a Category 1 hurricane.

Michael's trek to Florida is affecting politics in the state.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum said he's returning to his home city in the Panhandle to prepare for the storm.

Gillum and Scott notoriously traded jabs regarding relief efforts after Hurricane Hermine hit Florida in 2016 over whether city officials were doing enough to get electricity restored in the heavily tree-lined city. The declaration will free up resources for storm preparation.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for western Cuba.

Further strengthening is forecast as it moves northward across the Gulf of Mexico.

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