Storm Near Gulf of Mexico Aims for Florida’s Panhandle

The storm is forecast to move near the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula on Monday before moving across the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico on Monday night through Tuesday night, the NHC reports.

While forecast models broadly expect the storm to reach hurricane strength, models have varied views on the storm's forward speed, meaning there is still uncertainty about when it might reach the USA coast.

In a news conference Sunday evening in Tallahassee, Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned that the storm could have far-reaching effects, regardless of where it lands.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is now en route to investigate Michael.

Scott declared an emergency when it was Tropical Depression 14 on Sunday morning.

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The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in their latest advisory that Tropical Depression 14 is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall in the western Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, October 10th.

The big picture on where the storm is expected to go has also shifted some since Saturday afternoon, when tracking showed Michael crossing the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama as a tropical storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 11:55 a.m. ET Sunday update, the maximum winds are estimated to be 40 miles per hour with higher gusts. Michael today has exhibited maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. The more time the storm spends over the warm waters of the Gulf, regardless of any wind shear in the area, the more likely it is to become a lot stronger. The center of the storm is then expected to move across Georgia as a tropical storm, before moving across the Carolinas and southeast Virginia before going back out to sea by next weekend. The storm will pull much colder air down from Canada and bring heavy snow across the Rockies and into the high plains of Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota.

The only other storm in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Leslie has zig-zagged in intensity.

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