Tropical Storm Michael could bring heavy rainfall to Mexico, Cuba, Gulf Coast

Thursday, 11 Oct, 2018

Forecasters expect Michael to be near or at major hurricane strength when it moves into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Winds will stay below tropical storm force throughout the next few days despite Michael passing by the area - though it will still be fairly windy at times. Suwanee River to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay

Known as "Potential Tropical Cyclone 14" by the National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to form in the northwestern Caribbean Sea this weekend, with heavy rains heading for western Cuba.

Forecasters have warned that Michael's strength could be "catastrophic" for communities in its path - anywhere from Pensacola on the western flank of the Florida Panhandle to Tampa.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says newly named Tropical Storm Michael could strengthen to a hurricane as it heads to the Florida Panhandle. Rain should arrive Wednesday and last until late Thursday night.

The Hurricane Center's forecast calls for Michael to become a hurricane later Monday and make landfall Wednesday with 100 miles per hour winds, which would make it a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.

As of the 5 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Michael had sustained winds of 140 miles per hour with stronger gusts. It was moving north around 7 miles per hour.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.

Governor Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for 26 counties in the Big Bend and Florida Panhandle ahead of Tropical Storm Michael. "This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain".

Scott declared an emergency in 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for help.

Southern Georgia, along with parts of southeastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle could see rainfall amounts of 4-to-8 inches with isolated rainfall amounts of up to 12 inches.

Hazardous marine conditions in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and high-risk rip currents also will continue to be a threat.