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Tropical Storm Michael looms over Gulf of Mexico, could become hurricane

10 October 2018

In the Washington DC region we are expecting a plume of deep tropical moisture associated with Michael to enhance our threat of rain, showers & t-storms Thursday ahead of a cold front.

Wind shear, which has slowed the storm's development so far, is forecast to relax, which should also enable the storm to gain strength. At this time of year wind shear can tear storms structures apart, but some meteorologists are suggesting that wind shear will be lower than normal, providing an environment more conducive to intensification and for the storm to maintain its structure over the coming days.

It could become a hurricane by Tuesday night.

Michael became a hurricane in the northern Caribbean Sea Monday and is expected to strengthen to become a major hurricane before making landfall in the Florida Panhandle late Wednesday.

The storm was expected to bring up to 12 inches (30 cm) of rain with storm surges up to 12 feet (3.7 meters), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Michael will move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico through Tuesday night.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, Michael is in the extreme northwest Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. MS 20-45 miles per hour Tuesday and Wednesday.

The "risk of unsafe storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts continues to increase", the National Hurricane Center warned Sunday.

He declared a state of emergency for 35 Florida counties from the Panhandle to Tampa Bay, activated hundreds of Florida National Guard members and waived tolls to encourage those close to the coast to evacuate inland.

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.

On Monday, Michael will emerge over the Gulf of Mexico, where computer model forecasts predict that it will steadily intensify.

The north Florida city of Tallahassee on Sunday opened two locations where residents could get sandbags in case of flooding.

"Isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible in western Cuba", the hurricane center said.

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.

According to the NHC, as of 7:00 p.m. EDT on October 7, Tropical Storm Michael is about 105 miles (170 kilometers) east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico and 140 miles (230 kilometers) south-southwest of the western tip of Cuba. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov.A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.

Tropical Storm Michael looms over Gulf of Mexico, could become hurricane