MIAMI (AP) - A tropical weather system rapidly strengthened into Hurricane Michael off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and forecasters said it was moving Monday into the Gulf of Mexico where warm waters would continue to fuel its development.
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. A hurricane warning was in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwanee River, with a hurricane watch in place from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border. It also issued a Storm Surge Watch from Navarre, in the Florida Panhandle, to Anna Maria Island.
Michael could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in parts of western Cuba, forecasts say, with rains of 3-7 inches (7-17 centimeters) expected. Tuesday and Wednesday will bring more of a southerly push to the winds, staying in the same 10-20mph range through much of the day.
The forecast indicates Michael may be a Category 3 hurricane - with winds from 111 to 129 miles per hour - when it strikes. The NHC now calls for Michael to reach category 3, or major hurricane strength by late Tuesday, making landfall along the Florida Panhandle late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Gulf Coast of Florida from the Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Anclote River.
For storm information specific to your area outside the United States, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK -- At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Michael was located near latitude 21.2 North, longitude 84.9 West. Michael is moving toward the north near 7 miles per hour (11 km/h).
Garcia said the tropical storm has the potential to produce gusty winds, heavy rain and flooding in South Florida, as well as possible isolated tornadoes through mid-week.
For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.
"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". It was moving north around 9 miles per hour (11 kph).
One is located several hundred miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands and has a 30 percent chance of development in the next five days.
The north Florida city of Tallahassee on Sunday opened two locations where residents could get sandbags in case of flooding.