Tropical Storm Michael could strengthen into hurricane, forecasters say

Tropical Storm Michael forms expected to become hurricane next week

Tropical Storm Michael forms expected to become hurricane next week

Rick Scott called Michael a "monstrous hurricane" with devastating potential from high winds, storm surge and heavy rains. Tomorrow, a NE turn is still expected.

Weather.com meteorologist Christopher Dolce warned the "hurricane conditions are possible in the region by Wednesday" with "damaging winds, unsafe storm surge, and heavy rain".

The National Hurricane Center is predicting it will gain strength and become Tropical Storm Michael by tonight, and should head into the Gulf of Mexico late Monday. Michael is moving from the south and is moving faster.

The highest tide of the year, King Tide is expected to peak Tuesday and can cause some flooding in low-lying areas and at the beaches.

NWS Charleston's latest advisory on Michael anticipates impacts along the SC coast as early as Sunday night, and minor to moderate impacts along the SC and Georgia coasts Monday until Thursday. A hurricane Michael landfall in Florida would put ILS investments at risk, with numerous exposed catastrophe bonds and collateralized reinsurance positions. The storm is now a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale which measures hurricane intensity, with 1 being the weakest and 5 the strongest.

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"With the National Hurricane Center forecasting Tropical Depression 14 to strengthen and impact Florida's Panhandle as a hurricane, families need to get prepared", Scott said. Tropical storm to hurricane force winds are less than four days away from the United States.

There will be some wind shear affecting this storm. Sunday forecast tracks showed the storm making landfall as a hurricane Wednesday afternoon somewhere in Florida's Panhandle-Big Bend area and moving north-northeast across South Georgia.

"We're not talking about winds that will do a lot of damage but it will be windy and it will be rainy, starting on Wednesday into Thursday", she said, but warned that downed trees and power lines could occur.

Tropical Storm force winds are very possible along a large portion of the viewing area, with hurricane force winds also possible. Heavy rains and storm surge will also be a concern. Specifics will be ironed out as the storm gets closer. A hurricane watch is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwanee River, and tropical storm watches have been issued from the Suwanee River to Anna Maria Island and from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border. On Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a Storm Surge Watch from Navarre to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay. "Storm preparations should be rushed to completion today and Tuesday".

However, over the next 24 hours or so, those winds are expected to subside and become more favorable, and additional strengthening of this system is expected as it passes across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. First Alert Chief Meteorologist Casanova Nurse has your forecast at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, and 11:00 this evening.

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