By 4 p.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 75 miles per hour (120 kph).
A hurricane warning has been issued for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio and tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Cuban province of Isle of Youth and the Mexican coast from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.
Hurricane watches are already in place for parts of the panhandle, and tropical storm watches are in place for parts of south Georgia just outside our viewing area.
A Hurricane Watch was issued for the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwannee River. We are working closely and coordinating with our local, state and federal partners in anticipation of the storm's potential impacts. The National Hurricane Center is telling residents to take this threat seriously and to expect storm surge and heavy rainfall along with risky winds.
In the United States, a storm surge watch has been issued from Navarre, Florida to Anna Maria Island, Florida.More news: Washington Post prints empty column for Saudi writer missing in Turkey
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The governor warns that storm surge could be as high as 8-10 feet (2.4-3 meters) in some parts of the Panhandle and 2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters) in the Tampa Bay area.
Another national, Neil Fung, said the storm looks like " a major one". Officials also alerted residents living on the coast of the possibility of flooding caused by the storm. The storm's tropical storm-force winds extended 175 miles from its center. "It is critical that you take care of yourself, your family, and your business as Hurricane Michael approaches FL", Scott wrote on Twitter on Monday.
The Gulf Coast is forecast to see tropical storm conditions Tuesday night or early Wednesday, ahead of the hurricane activity expected for Wednesday. It's forecast to move toward the Baja this week and eventually make landfall as a tropical storm by week's end. The latest, 12z operational run of the European model shows Michael reaching a central pressure of 943.8mb shortly after noon on Wednesday, before making landfall along the Florida coast.
"The main hazards will be gusty winds, flooding and isolated tornadoes", the National Weather Service's Hazardous Weather Outlook for South Florida said at 11 a.m. Monday. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain.
Latest NHC track forecast for Michael.