Tropical Storm Michael, Heading North, Could Become Category 2 Hurricane

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For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at> a href="http://hurricanes.gov" *hurricanes.gov.A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.

Michael is the 13th named tropical storm or hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Under the Sunday afternoon forecast, tropical storm force winds could arrive at the earliest in SC by Wednesday morning and in most of North Carolina by Wednesday night.

Rainfall: the low is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 7 inches over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and northern Honduras through Tuesday. The storm will accelerate and strengthen to category two or three hurricane status through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday.

The risk of life-threatening storm surges, heavy rainfall and unsafe winds are increasing for the northeastern Gulf Coast. Rain chances in both counties are 70 percent on Tuesday.

Due to the King Tides - exceptionally high tides - along both coasts, coastal flooding also could be a concern.

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.

Michael will arrive as an "extremely dangerous" storm Wednesday afternoon with winds of 145 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. update Wednesday. The National Hurricane Center gives the system a 100% chance for development and began issuing advisories as Potential Tropical Cyclone 14 Saturday afternoon.

As of 11 p.m. ET, Hurricane Michael is located 220 miles south of Panama City, Florida and about 200 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida The storm is moving north at about 12 mph.

"It may not be so along the Florida Panhandle, but from the track that we're looking at right now, if Michael continues to stay on this track its going to go over Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina".

Conditions along Volusia County beaches were windy on Sunday, said Capt. Tamara Malphurs with Volusia County Beach Safety and Ocean Rescue.

The EOC will go to Level 1 emergency status at 7 a.m. Monday.

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Michael is becoming an increasingly serious threat to Florida's Panhandle, though still far off.

Tropical storm force winds are possible as early as Wednesday.

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