Hurricane Michael, Forecast to Strengthen, Could Hit Florida Wednesday

Tropical Storm Michael
NOAA

Newly formed Hurricane Michael is heading for the U.S., with the Florida Panhandle directly in its crosshairs.

The massive Category 1 storm could potentially approach major hurricane strength — that is, a Category 3 or greater — later this week. Though still far off, the storm is forecast to slam Florida, bringing strong winds and rains.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous," Gov. Rick Scott said Sunday. 

A state of emergency has been declared in dozens of counties as the system nears, with life-threatening flash flooding possible thanks to the anticipated heavy rainfall.

"Everybody's got to get ready," Scott added. "Don't take a chance. We're going to get storm surge. We have wind. We have a chance of flooding. We have a significant chance of tornadoes."

Tropical force winds are extending 175 miles outward from the center of the storm. 

The current track sees the storm coming ashore sometime Wednesday.

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