A tropical storm watch is in effect along the southeastern coast of the USA from Fernandina Beach, FL, to South Santee River, SC, the Chassahowitzka River to Anna Maria Island in Florida, including Tampa Bay, and the Mississippi-Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl River.
The National Hurricane Center predicted Tuesday that tropical-storm-force winds would probably arrive on the southern coast early Wednesday morning.
The hurricane center is already warning of storm surge up to 12 feet in some areas, plus heavy rainfall through Florida's Panhandle and into Alabama, Georgia and SC, and "tropical storm"-force winds".
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 15 formed Tuesday morning about 500 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands.
"Guess what? That's today", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.
As residents of coastal Florida evacuate, Hurricane Michael is expected to grow more severe before hitting the area as soon as Wednesday.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is also the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the November 6 elections, said on Sunday he was cancelling his campaign events and returning to Tallahassee to focus on storm preparations. "As Hurricane Michael nears landfall, we are working with state and local officials in Florida to take all necessary precautions", Trump said on Monday.
The NHC forecast as much as 1 foot (30 cm) of rain in parts of Florida, Georgia and SC.
Wednesday: Hurricane Michael's rain begins in earnest after midnight Wednesday, becoming heavier through the morning hours.
The NHC warned that the waves and rain could trigger deadly flooding, and that residents within the hurricane warning zone should likewise "prepare for life-threatening winds". Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) from the core and tropical-storm-force winds out 175 miles (280 kilometers).
"Don't think that you can ride this out if you're in a low-lying area", Nelson said on CNN.
Richland County officials said in a release Tuesday morning that residents should expect wind and rain to increase Thursday afternoon and evening, with sustained winds of 20 to 35 miles per hour and gusts of 40 to 45 miles per hour.
"It's been dry for the last couple of weeks, so there's plenty of places for that to run off to", he said.
While Florence took five days between the time it turned into a hurricane and the moment it rolled into the Carolinas, Michael gave Florida what amounted to two days' notice.
Although the forecast could change, there is no indication that the storm will deteriorate before making landfall.
When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is known as a hurricane - in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific - or a typhoon in the Western Pacific.
Gov. Rick Scott reiterated his warnings Monday evening during a news conference in Escambia County, encouraging residents along the coast to follow any evacuations orders as soon as possible. High surf warnings were in effect already at the Alabama coast.
A hurricane Warning was issued from the Alabama-Florida border eastward to Suwannee River.
Hurricane Michael is gaining strength as it lashes Cuba's western tip and lumbers northward toward the U.S.
Kemp said the bill totaled over $800 when she and her family fled Hurricane Irma's uncertain path previous year.
Hurricane Michael is expected to hit the Florida panhandle as a major storm on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 10) - and US weather satellites are busy watching the storm to help meteorologists keep people safe. Locations east of the eye wall will experience a potentially life-threatening storm surge up to six feet - meaning six feet of ocean water could be pushed over coastal areas by the storm.