Tropical System Set to Form in the Gulf

Forecasters: Caribbean storm could become hurricane

Forecasters: Caribbean storm could become hurricane

What's expected to become Hurricane Michael is forecast to dump between 4 and 8 inches of rainfall on parts of the Panhandle and the Big Bend with isolated downpours of up to 12 inches, potentially causing life-threatening flash floods. It's forecast to become a major hurricane sometime Tuesday and should make landfall Wednesday afternoon or evening, likely between Pensacola in the far western Panhandle and Apalachicola, directly south of Tallahassee on the coast. "I don't want to lose everything in the freezer, but it is what is", said Beaver as she loaded sandbags into her family's pickup truck. "As we continue to monitor this storm's northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that our communities have every available resource to keep everyone safe and prepared".

As the storm moved north it battered Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba with drenching rains and winds of up to 80 miles per hour (130 kph), the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

Scott warned that Michael could reach land as a Category 2 hurricane with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

A hurricane center graphic showed the disturbance gaining storm-level winds of over 39 miles per hour on Monday and maintaining those speeds as it potentially hits the Florida coast east of Pensacola on Wednesday.

Scott, who announced he was declaring a state of emergency Sunday for 26 counties in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, said that afternoon that the storm will be slow, strong and will bring a unsafe storm surge."This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", he said in briefing Sunday evening. This storm does not pose a threat to Florida or the US, but swells generated by Leslie continue to create life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Scott added that he was activating 500 National Guard members ahead of the storm for planning, logistics and response.

"This storm has the potential to be a historic storm, please take heed", the sheriff's office said in the post. "This is coming very fast". The tropical system will approach the Gulf Coast just as the cold front pushes in to approach the Gulf on Tuesday.

"It's kind of got us all on edge right now", Rachel Burke, general manger of Brass Tap Craft Beer Bar on Panama City Beach, said Monday afternoon.

7-day rainfall forecast from the National Weather Service. If it tracks more west we will see higher rain coverage and stronger winds. This includes in Haiti where recovery efforts from a deadly natural disaster are ongoing.

Elsewhere in the tropics, Tropical Storm Leslie continues to churn in the open waters of the Atlantic.

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