Tropical Depression 14 strengthened to Tropical Storm Michael Sunday, and the National Hurricane Center says it could still become a hurricane by Tuesday.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a state of emergency Sunday in preparation for Michael, which is currently projected to hit the state’s panhandle Wednesday morning.
“With the National Hurricane Center forecasting Tropical Depression 14 to strengthen and impact Florida’s panhandle as a hurricane, families need to get prepared,” Scott said in a statement. “As we continue to monitor this storm’s northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that our communities have every available resource to keep everyone safe and prepared.”
Michael could touch down as a Category 2 hurricane, with winds up to 100 mph, by the middle of the week.
“This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous,” Scott said after receiving a briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center.
As of the NHC’s 5 p.m. update, Michael was about 130 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and 190 miles south-southwest of the western tip of Cuba with sustained winds up to 50 mph.
Forecasters have predicted between 3 and 7 inches of rain over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula,Belize and northern Honduras through Tuesday.