Tropical storm expected to produce squally, wet weather across S. Florida

Michael could be as strong as a category 3 storm at that time.

The National Hurricane Center indicates that Tropical Depression 14 has strengthened and is now Tropical Storm Michael, centered over the northwest Caribbean Sea.

By 5 p.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 80 miles per hour as it headed north at 9 miles per hour.

The storm is on track to become a hurricane on Monday, bringing heavy rain to the western tip of Cuba, before making landfall on the northeastern Gulf Coast on Wednesday. It maintains a north movement of 12 miles per hour.

Hurricane Michael will cross interior portions of Eastern North Carolina (S. of Oregon Inlet to Cape Hatteras) late Thursday through Friday morning.

The office of the mayor of Tallahassee said staffers would be contacting local nursing homes and assisted living facilities Sunday to share preparation plans.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said in a briefing Sunday.

The only other storm now in the Atlantic Ocean is Tropical Storm Leslie, which has zig-zagged in intensity. A strong east wind will maintain higher than normal water levels along eastern facing shores of Louisiana and MS through Tuesday and so a COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY has been posted.

Scott warned that Michael could reach land as a Category 2 hurricane with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Hurricane Watches have been issued for the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend area. Severe storms and possible tornadoes will be possible over parts of the state along Michael's path. The Weather Service said the storm also could contribute to minor coastal flooding early in the week, in part because of the astronomical high tides that were already forecast to occur before the storm's formation. "Areas hit hard by Florence may face disruptions to ongoing cleanup efforts or renewed flooding depending on the track of the storm", AccuWeather senior meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski said.

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".

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.

UPDATE (4:00 P.M.) - First Alert Weather continues to analyze the newest weather forecast data, which is still suggesting a landfall in the Panhandle region Wednesday in the P.M. hours.

Now is the time to prepare in the case of heavy rain and severe storms.