The National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Watch for portions of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend area. The National Hurricane Center is telling residents to take this threat seriously and to expect storm surge and heavy rainfall along with unsafe winds.
Michael may be more of a wind event than a rain event for Eastern North Carolina but neither wind nor rain are good news just a month after Hurricane Florence.
Michael if forecast to continue on a northward to north-northwestward motion at a slightly faster forward speed through Tuesday night, followed by a northeastward motion on Wednesday and Thursday.
"Do not take a chance on storm surge", Scott said.
Florida State University and Leon County schools canceled classes from Tuesday through Friday.
The storm was centered about 80 kilometers off the western tip of Cuba, and about 220 kilometers east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico.
The hurricane's sustained winds are expected to hit at least 111 miles per hour by Tuesday, making it a major hurricane - the designation for Category 3 storms and above, on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
By 11 a.m. Monday, Michael's top sustained winds were around 120 kph. But it rapidly intensified, and its top winds clocked in at 60 miles per hour (95 kph) by late Sunday evening.
Michael is unique, according to Masters, because it developed out of Central America, rather than an African wave like most hurricanes.
FSU said it is prepared to handle students' needs during the storm and that campus residence halls and dining facilities will remain open.
Additionally, we have a Storm Surge Watch up for Tampa Bay Waters as well as High Surf Advisories, Rip Current Advisories and a Small Craft Advisory.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 kilometers) from the storm's center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers).
The National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Watch from the Alabama-Florida line eastward to the Suwanee River, Florida.
Forecasters say the powerful storm could bring heavy rainfall, storm surge and "dangerous" winds increasing for the northeastern Gulf Coast. Under that track, the Tampa Bay area would still experience some wind, rain, and some coastal flooding.