Forecasters: Depression becomes Tropical Storm Michael - 10/7/2018 2:25:05 PM
Oct 08 2018
The storm is expected to move northward through early Wednesday, during which time it will strengthen, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, according to hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
"There is an increasing risk of unsafe storm surge, rainfall and wind impacts over portions of the northern Gulf Coast by mid-week, although it is too soon to specify the exact location and magnitude of these impacts", the hurricane center advisory said.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth.
"With the National Hurricane Center forecasting Tropical Depression 14 to strengthen and impact Florida's Panhandle as a hurricane, families need to get prepared".
As of 1 p.m. ET Sunday, the storm was located 90 miles of Cozumel, Mexico, and had 40 mph winds.
That's why it's important to stay up to speed on forecast updates in the coming days. What remains of the storm should pass near or just southeast of Virginia Thursday into Friday.
Before Michael hits the United States, it's expected to dump 3 to 7 inches of rain on western Cuba. Sunday forecast tracks showed the storm making landfall as a hurricane Wednesday afternoon somewhere in Florida's Panhandle-Big Bend area and moving north-northeast across South Georgia.
Though forecasters expect the hurricane to hit the Panhandle, the storm may "affect portions of the Florida Gulf Coast that are especially vulnerable to storm surge, regardless of the storms exact track or intensity".
An Air Force hurricane hunter airplane was sent into the storm to investigate, the hurricane center said. Leslie became a subtropical storm on September 23 but weakened into depression then back into a tropical storm and then a hurricane.
Satellite wind data indicated the depression had strengthened Sunday morning with maximum winds of 40 miles per hour.