Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2 storm as it barrels toward Fla

Hurricane Michael made its way through the Gulf of Mexico Monday

Hurricane Michael made its way through the Gulf of Mexico Monday

Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions.

Other locations in the state are under voluntary evacuation. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. "You can not hide from storm surge, so get out if an evacuation is ordered".

Anxious meteorologists said it had the potential of becoming one of the worst storms in the history of Florida's Panhandle.

He warned those in the storm's path that "alleviation [from storm surges] to property is likely not going to happen in these instances". Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labor Day storm (184 miles per hour, or 296 kph), Camille and Andrew in 1992. It expected the storm to turn due north tonight, then northeastward on Wednesday.

The eastern ridge of the storm will gradually weaken as the western trough moves across land.

The National Hurricane Center, citing Michael's unsafe trifecta of storm surge, flash flooding and winds, described the seventh hurricane of the Atlantic season as "life-threatening", and the Florida Division of Emergency Management warned on Twitter of the storm's "rapid intensification" ahead of landfall.

"Hurricane Michael is a monstrous storm", said Florida Gov. Rick Scott, at a Tuesday news conference, adding that it could bring "total devastation to parts of our state, especially in the Panhandle".

10 A.M. Hurricane Michael continued to intensify Tuesday morning as it marched northward toward a predicted Northwest Florida landfall.

The storm was forecast to move through the southeastern United States on Wednesday and Thursday, passing through Georgia and the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

Tropical storm-force winds are expected to be in the area as soon as Tuesday night. The central pressure remains 965 millibars. Bill Nelson, said a "wall of water" could cause major destruction along the Panhandle. The water has the potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...

Storm surge inundation of 3-9 feet is forecast for the Florida Panhandle coastline with the most severe surge expected on coastal areas between Panama City and Perry, Florida.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the hurricane was 395 miles (635 kilometers) south of Panama City, Florida, and 365 miles (590 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida. Tropical storm warnings cover 8.5 million people in several states.

Some additional strengthening is possible today before Michael makes landfall in the Florida Panhandle or the Florida Big Bend area.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Nick Petro with the National Weather Service Office in Raleigh says Michael will be a wind and rain event locally, with the possibility for gusty winds and 3-5 inches of rainfall.