Forecasters expect the tropical storm to become a hurricane on Monday. "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered". Needless to say, the storm will have serious consequences for Florida (and downstream states such as Georgia) during the remainder of this week.
Michael's maximum sustained winds increased to 90 miles per hour on Monday night, the National Hurricane Center reported in its 11 p.m. EST update. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (282 kilometers).
Michael, which increased to a Category 1 hurricane midday Monday, will rapidly intensify over the next 24 to 36 hours, Orrock said. "That means the water will come miles in shore and could easily be over the roofs of houses", Scott said.
Michael gained new strength over warm tropical waters amid fears it would swiftly intensify into a major hurricane before striking Florida's northeast Gulf Coast, where frantic coastal dwellers are boarding up homes and seeking evacuation routes away from the unsafe storm heading their way.
"Storm surge is the No. 1 problem that you can see from these storms". You can see the GFS model below.
Although the forecast could change, there is no indication that the storm will deteriorate before making landfall.
A hurricane warning is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to the Suwannee River.
The storm then looks destined to move through the southeast USA on Thursday as a tropical storm, bringing heavy rains to Georgia and the Carolinas, before moving back out to the Atlantic on Friday. He warned that storm surge could affect areas of Florida not in the storm's direct path.
"This is a life-threatening situation".
"This storm can kill you", Scott said.
"It's closer to Africa than the Lesser Antilles right now", Bridges said. "And if it gets much worse. we will go". "And then you're riding it out in your auto instead of something else". We could see gusts near 70 with the core of Michael going by.
The governor has declared a state of emergency in 35 counties and is stressing that residents should "absolutely" evacuate if ordered to. The NHC said that it could hit anywhere along the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area. "Today is the day to get a plan, because tomorrow could be too late".
On its current track, it would make landfall somewhere along a coastline that includes the cities and towns of Fort Walton Beach, Panama City Beach, Port St. Joe, St. Teresa and the wildlife reserves bordering Apalachee Bay.
"We (first) bumped it up to Tuesday night. and then we bumped it up to Tuesday morning", Cindy Guinn said. Many filled sandbags and boarded up homes.
Lines at gasoline stations were growing long in Panama City as people prepared to leave areas under mandatory evacuation, Trepanier said.
"Since 6 a.m.it's been backed up".
"We're a little nervous", she told ABC News.
If high winds strike Maryland, the southern and eastern portions of the state are again at the greatest risk. In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a preemptive state of emergency for 92 counties.
Michael is the seventh hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. Some southern Alabama counties were under a tropical storm watch Monday afternoon.
Leslie is of no concern to Florida or the United States.
Torrential downpours and flash flooding from the storm over the weekend caused 13 deaths in Central America.