A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Alabama Gulf coast, while a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the northwestern coast of Florida.
Early Monday morning, Michael had increased wind speeds from 60 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour. The North Carolina division of emergency management stated Sunday that the forecast calls for 3 to 5 inches of rain over the next seven days across parts of southeastern North Carolina. It's expected to speed up slightly through Tuesday night as it passes between Mexico and Cuba, before tacking northeast on Wednesday and Thursday.
Forecasters have warned that Michael's strength could be "catastrophic" for communities in its path - anywhere from Pensacola on the western flank of the Florida Panhandle to Tampa. A storm surge of up to 12 feet is forecast for a large section of the Florida coast.
An Air Force hurricane hunter airplane was sent into the storm to investigate, the hurricane center said.
Michael is now a major hurricane with max sustained winds of 120 miles per hour and gusts to 150 miles per hour. They said Michael could be the strongest hurricane to hit that stretch of coastline in 13 years.
A news release from the Governor's office stated that declaring a state of emergency ensures that state and local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to prepare for the storm. Gillum had planned to campaign Monday and Tuesday in South Florida.
"Take this seriously and keep your family safe", Scott said from Bay County on Monday. The storm will move quickly, exiting the Piedmont by Friday morning as it turns east and heads offshore.
Scott activated 500 National Guard Troops to help with planning ahead of the storm. Michael's location was about 90 miles southwest of both Panama City, Fla., and Apalachicola, Fla., the NHC said.
Coastal hazards include life-threatening rip currents at least through Wednesday, and increased risk for beach erosion, especially around times of high tide.
"Never ends, but we're all prepared and hopefully it won't be as bad as it's looking", Mr. Trump said. A Category 1 hurricane has sustained winds of 74 to 95 miles per hour. At this point we are trying to iron out the magnitude and placement of those impacts, which of course depends on the exact track of the storm.
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee said: "This is a storm to definitely take very seriously".
Thankfully, Michael will be nothing like Florence for the Carolinas, but it will still bring wind and rain.