Governor Rick Scott declares state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Michael

As of 11 p.m. ET, Hurricane Michael is located 220 miles south of Panama City, Florida and about 200 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida The storm is moving north at about 12 mph. Tropical Storm Michael is already a fairly good-sized storm.

Its maximum sustained winds were measured at 70 miles per hour.

A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

"We've seen this happen many times with storms, and they've just start to bring all that water with them", explained FOX 13's meteorologist Dave Osterberg, "and they've pushed that water in".

Michael was expected to become a hurricane later in the day. Some further strengthening is expected overnight and on Wednesday, and Michael is forecast to become a category 4 hurricane before it makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle or the Florida Big Bend area. It was expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Michael on Sunday, and could become Hurricane Michael on Tuesday night or Wednesday.

Despite approaching Florida from the Gulf Coast side, Tropical Storm Michael is expected to have some impact on Northeast Florida. By 5 p.m., winds had reached maximum sustained speeds about 50 miles per hour.

The threat for tornadoes will increase late Tuesday into Wednesday over parts of the Florida panhandle, the northern Florida Peninsula, and southern Georgia.

The hurricane center, citing Michael's unsafe trifecta of storm surge, flash flooding and winds, described the seventh hurricane of the Atlantic season as "life-threatening".

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Additionally, sea surface temperatures where a hurricane Michael will travel are near 30C, plenty warm enough to fuel a major hurricane and to strengthen the storm.

A state of emergency was issued on Sunday by Florida Governor Rick Scott for the 26 counties in the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend area.

The Hurricane Center predicts that Michael will reach hurricane intensity with 80 miles per hour (or Category 1) winds by Tuesday, increasing to 100 miles per hour by Wednesday (or Category 2) around the time of landfall.

Elsewhere, the hurricane center is monitoring two areas of low pressure.

Additionally, 4 to 8 inches of rainfall, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches, have been forecast for parts of Florida and the adjacent Gulf Coast states.

The NHC has now issued a hurricane warning for Cuba and a hurricane watch for the Florida Panhandle coast. The Hurricane Center's statement said interests along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf Coast should monitor the progress of the depression.

Scott had already announced Sunday morning he would declare a state of emergency due to the storm.

In North Carolina, still reeling from the destruction of Hurricane Florence last month, Gov. Roy Cooper warned that Michael could bring moderate storm surge, downed trees and power outages to his sodden state.

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