Florida comes under a hurricane watch as Michael rapidly strengthens

Nicondra Watching Tropical Wave In the Caribbean

Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates. If it tracks more west we will see higher rain coverage and stronger winds. A strong east wind will maintain higher than normal water levels along eastern facing shores of Louisiana and MS through Tuesday and so a COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY has been posted.

Computer models continue to show Michael on a path toward the Florida Panhandle, where it could make landfall as a Category 2 storm. Isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible in western Cuba.

Tropical storm conditions are possible in Flagler County on Wednesday and Thursday, the Weather Service office in Jacksonville said Sunday, warning that minor flooding might be possible in low-lying or poorly drained areas. As the storm turns northeast near the Florida panhandle, the winds will shift southwest. It is moving north at a speed of around 7 m.p.h.

A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

Michael was moving north-northeast at 3 miles per hour off Yucatan Peninsula as of the 5 p.m. Sunday update.

The storm was located by midday Sunday about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Cozumel, Mexico.

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On the forecast track, the center will move through the Yucatan Channel Monday morning and then across the eastern Gulf of Mexico late Monday through Wednesday. A storm surge of up to 12 feet is forecast for a large section of the Florida coast.

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency this morning and urged Panhandle and Big Bend residents to prepare for Tropical Depression 14.

An intensifying storm system that became Tropical Storm Michael Sunday afternoon is setting its sights on the northern Gulf Coast, and forecasters say it could be a Category 2 hurricane when it makes landfall. The National Hurricane Center expected Michael to become a hurricane later in the day. The bottom line is that tropical storm force winds are likely, meaning winds ranging from 40 miles per hour to as high as 70+.

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.

There is also a tropical storm warning for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth. Rain should arrive Wednesday and last until late Thursday night.

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