Tropical Storm Michael forms in the Yucatan

Clay Curtis
October 11, 2018

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth in Cuba, and the Mexican coast from Tulum to Cabo Catoche. By the 7 p.m. update, wind speed had increased to 60 miles an hour.

It's a on track expected to move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico late Monday through Tuesday night and approach the northeast U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Michael is continuing to organize in the northwestern Caribbean Sea, near the Yucatán Peninsula.

Storm and storm surge watches were issued for the Gulf Coast from the Mississippi-Alabama border to Chassahowitzka, Florida, north of Tampa Bay.

A storm surge watch was issued from Navarre to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay.

Hurricane Michael is now a Category 1 hurricane as of the 2 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The Hurricane Center predicts risky surf conditions will start to appear along the northern Gulf Coast on Tuesday. A Category 1 storm packs winds between 74-95 miles per hour, according to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

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Elsewhere, outer rain bands from the depression are expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches across the Florida Keys through Monday.

Michael's maximum sustained winds increased to 90 miles per hour on Monday night, the National Hurricane Center reported in its 11 p.m. EST update. Hurricane force winds extend 45 miles outside the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outwards 175 miles.

The system is expected to bring rain around the same time the King Tide is expected, making St. Augustine and other areas more vulnerable to flooding.

In Cuba on Sunday, Michael was expected to dump as much as 12 inches (30 cm) of rain in western parts of the island.

By declaring this state of emergency, Gov. Scott is ensuring that state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm.

For now, USA carriers are likely to begin waiving change fees for coastal airports along Michael's projected path.

Florida's capital city of Tallahassee, which is in the Panhandle, opened two locations Sunday where residents could get sandbags to prepare for flooding. "This rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain".

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