The Gulf Coast is forecast to see tropical storm conditions Tuesday night or early Wednesday, ahead of the hurricane activity expected for Wednesday. Meanwhile hurricane watches are already in effect for the gulf coast from the Alabama-Florida border all the way to the Suwannee River in Dixie County, Florida.
A Storm Surge Watch and Tropical Storm Watch have both been issued for coastal areas including Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.
As of this morning, Michael was located near latitude 21.2 North, longitude 84.9 West. The storm is moving north at about 7 miles per hour, and is expected to pick up speed over the next few days. In addition, brief, isolated tornadoes are possible south and east of metro Atlanta as Michael traverses the state.
After making landfall, Michael will move quickly inland, and this is where things get interesting for central Georgia.
Another TT national, Ray Mohammed, said Florida has been through worse storms and was confident the state would ride out Michael.
Once the storm moves onto land, it will start to slow down and will most likely be significantly weaker than it is now, Steve Pfaff, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, said.
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The National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Watch from the Alabama-Florida line eastward to the Suwanee River, Florida.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth as well as the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche. It's forecast to move toward the Baja this week and eventually make landfall as a tropical storm by week's end.
When looking at the forecast cone, remember this represents where the center of the storm will go, and it could be anywhere within the cone of uncertainty. When plotted together on a map, the flowing together of the multiple models appear like strands of spaghetti - hence the name, "spaghetti models".
By 4 p.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 75 miles per hour (120 kph).
The Gulf of Mexico is home to 17 per cent of daily US crude oil output and 5 per cent of daily natural gas output, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
"Alabama is once again in the path of a hurricane, but I know Alabamians will once again come together and be prepared for whatever Michael may bring", Ivey stated.
The storm was centered about 30 miles (80 kilometers) off the western tip of Cuba, and about 520 miles (835 kilometers) south of Apalachicola, Florida. Michael is forecast to intensify as it tracks into the Gulf of Mexico and threaten the northeastern Gulf Coast by Wednesday, and could reach category three status.
In an 8 a.m. advisory, the NHC said that the "giant eye" of Hurricane Sergio is "drifting slowly over the Eastern Pacific" Ocean.