Will Hurricane Michael Hit Tampa? Latest Track & Forecast

Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, according to hurricane centre spokesman Dennis Feltgen.

A Hurricane Watch was issued for the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Suwannee River.

At 4 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said Michael was about 30 miles northwest of the western tip of Cuba and was moving north at 9 mph.

Michael is forecast to eventually make landfall as a major hurricane Wednesday morning along the Florida panhandle.

Florida governor Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency and activated hundreds of Florida National Guard troops in anticipation of the storm's arrival later this week.

"We're looking at a significant storm with significant impact, possibly greater than I've seen in my 59 years of life", he said of the city, which sits on the shore of Apalachicola Bay, an inlet to the Gulf of Mexico famed for producing about 90 percent of Florida's oysters.

Michael's threathening path has sparked collection of warnings from the NOAA's National Hurricane Centre for storm surges, hurricane and tropical-storm force winds.

Tropical Storm Leslie is slated to strengthen later on October 8, the NHC said.

This would make the storm a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of between 111 and 129 miles per hour.

After making landfall, Michael will move quickly inland, and this is where things get interesting for central Georgia.

The storm was expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico, where very warm water temperatures and favorable atmospheric conditions were expected to fuel its strength, Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the Miami-based storm forecasting hub, wrote in an advisory.

Tropical storm force winds are possible as early as Wednesday.

A Storm Surge Watch and Tropical Storm Watch have both been issued for coastal areas including Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.

Strong winds and heavy rainfall is now spreading across the western portion of Cuba.

"If this storm hit Panama City, Tampa could still have storm surge". In the below tweet, storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski states his belief that Michael even has the potential to reach Category 4 status, although most outlets are sticking with one notch below for now.

Michael is moving into the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast by Wednesday.

Weeks after Hurricane Florence flooded the Eastern Seaboard, a second hurricane threatens to wade up into the Carolinas-but Durham should avoid the brunt of this storm.

But in a Facebook post, Col. Michael Conley, commander of the 1st Special Operation Wing at Hurlburt, said that the evacuation order could change later on Monday if the forecast continues to worsen.

Heavy rains are likely across parts of the state with total rainfall amounts varying, depending on the exact path Michael takes.