8 AM Monday:TS Michael

Miami, Fla. (970 WFLA)- At 8:00 AM EDT, The center of Tropical Storm Michael was located near latitude 20.9 North, longitude 85.1 West.   About 120 miles, east-northeast  of Cozumel, Mexico, about 70 miles south of the western tip of Cuba.  

Michael is moving toward the north near 7 mph (11 km/h).  A northward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday.  

On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move northward across the Yucatan Channel today, and then across the eastern Gulf of Mexico this evening through Wednesday.  Michael is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is forecast, and Michael is expected to become a hurricane later today.  

Michael is forecast to be near or at major hurricane strength when it reaches the northeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday.  Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km)from the center.

The latest minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft is 982 mb (29.00 inches).

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...* Navarre Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...* Alabama-Florida border to Suwannee River Florida.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...* Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay*

Michael is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts through Wednesday night...

Florida Panhandle and Big Bend into southern Georgia...4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches. This rainfall may lead to life threatening flash floods. 

Florida Keys...2 to 4 inches.Yucatan Peninsula...1 to 2 inches.

Graphic credit: NHC Miami

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