Tropical Storm Michael Now a Category 1 Hurricane

An are of low pressure in the far western Caribbean is expected to develop into a tropical depression or even a tropical storm on Sunday. Michaels is the next name up. The storm could threaten the U.S. Gulf Coast by Wednesday

"This storm will bring torrential rain, heavy winds and risky storm surges to many areas of our state", he tweeted.

Once a tropical storm, Hurricane Michael is expected to strike the Florida Panhandle with Category 3 winds of 74-plus miles per hour.

Michael is forecast to continue intensifying, possibly reaching Category 2 or 3 intensity, by the time it reaches the Gulf Coast mid-week. It had maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour and was moving north at 12 miles per hour.

The storm was considered a Category 1 hurricane at 5 p.m. Monday and hovering over western Cuba.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (56km) from the core and tropical-storm-force winds out up to 175 miles (282km). Tropical storm warnings are posted for the Isle of Youth in Cuba and the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche, including Cozumel.

Previous year saw a string of catastrophic storms batter the western Atlantic - including Irma, Maria and Hurricane Harvey - causing a record-equalling $125bn in damage when it flooded the Houston metropolitan area.

Disaster agencies in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua reported 13 deaths as roofs collapsed and residents were carried away by swollen rivers.

In the popular tourist destination of Seaside, people were starting to feel nervous, said Kevin Boyle, the town's director of events. Most of the rain was blamed on a low-pressure system off the Pacific coast of El Salvador.

Florida State University and Florida A&M University announced they will be canceling classes for the rest of the week, meaning many students will likely be taking to the roads to escape the storms path.

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has issued a state of emergency due to the expected impact of Hurricane Michael.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is also the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the November 6 election, said on Sunday he was cancelling his campaign events and returning to Tallahassee, the state capital, to focus on storm preparations. The Florida Highway Patrol is pre-deploying 100 State Troopers to the Panhandle and Big Bend area of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Michael. A Category 1 hurricane has sustained winds of 74 to 95 miles per hour.

Of the elderly and infirm patients, Scott had a blunt message for their caregivers: "If you're responsible for a patient, you're responsible for the patient".

"Take this seriously and keep your family safe", Scott said from Bay County on Monday. Monday, it became the seventh hurricane of 2018 in the Atlantic Basin. Mandatory evacuations were issued for all non-residents in Franklin County, home to various tourist attractions like St. George's Island. Depending on the track of Michael's remnants, southern New England could also see a period of heavy rain late Thursday.

Mobile and Baldwin Counties are also under a Hurricane Watch. By Wednesday night and into Thursday, heavy rain will rapidly streak through Georgia and into the Carolinas. The sheriff's office says Michael "has the potential to be a historic storm - please take heed".

High winds weren't the only danger.

"Hurricane Michael is forecasted to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades", Scott said. The governor's declaration activates the state's emergency operations plan, according to Ivey's office. Forecasters also warned spinoff tornadoes would also be a threat.

According to the NHC, Michael will likely make landfall early Wednesday morning, and is "forecast to be a risky major hurricane".

A large mound of sand in Florida's capital city of Tallahassee, which is in the Panhandle, was whittled down to a small pile within hours as residents filled sandbags to prepare for potential flooding. Local authorities fear power outages and major tree damage from Michael. He added, "Today it is about life and safety". This will likely be a storm with the worst impacts seen overnight on Wednesday.

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