Michael strengthens into a hurricane as it heads for Florida Panhandle

click to enlarge Michael strengthens into a hurricane as it heads for Florida Panhandle
Photo via NOAA
Tropical Storm Michael strengthened into a hurricane Monday morning as the storm headed for the Florida Panhandle.

The National Hurricane Center says Michael is "forecast to be a dangerous major hurricane" by the time it reaches the northeastern Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Parts of Florida's coast could see life-threatening storm surge. Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Michael could also cause deadly flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle to the Big Bend region.

"Residents in the storm surge and hurricane watch areas should follow any advice given by local officials," the NHC says.

On Sunday, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Northwest Florida as forecasters predicted Michael could become a Category 2 storm with winds hitting 100 miles per hour.

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