In the Washington DC region we are expecting a plume of deep tropical moisture associated with Michael to enhance our threat of rain, showers & t-storms Thursday ahead of a cold front.
"In fact, almost every piece of intensity guidance brings the cyclone to hurricane strength before it reaches land, including the GFS, ECMWF, and UKMET global models, which all show significant deepening of the central pressure", National Hurricance Center forecaster Robbie Berg wrote in a morning discussion of the storm.
Many are located in the coastal town of Port St. Joe, the county's largest municipality, lying directly in the hurricane's projected path, she said. "Storm surge can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area".
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 National Hurricane Center is forecasting a 20% chance of tropical development within the next 2 days, increasing to 30% chance within the next 5 days. Michael is now about 90 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico.
"Today, I will be declaring a state of emergency in counties in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend and directing the State Emergency Operations Center to activate".
The storm was about 225 miles (365km) southwest of the western tip of Cuba at 2 p.m. eastern time (18:00 GMT), with sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km), the National Weather Service said. Scott advised Gulf Coast residents to prepare for possible evacuation orders, and he put more than 5,000 National Guard soldiers on alert.
"This storm has the potential to be a historic storm, please take heed", the sheriff's office said in the post. "This storm will be life-threatening and really unsafe".
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Speaking Monday to the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Orlando, Trump urged residents to heed local warnings and pledged the federal government's support.
In the popular tourist destination of Seaside, people were starting to feel nervous, said Kevin Boyle, the town's director of events.
The Hurricane Center predicts unsafe surf conditions will start to appear along the northern Gulf Coast on Tuesday.
After the storm moves inland, it could dump additional unwanted rain on the Carolinas, which were battered by Florence in September.
Due to several rounds of very heavy rain, much of the central USA could see almost 3 to 6 inches of rain through Wednesday.
Elsewhere in the tropics, Tropical Storm Leslie continues to churn in the open waters of the Atlantic.