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Tropical Depression Fourteen Forms Overnight, Possible Threat To Florida Panhandle

Tropical Depression Fourteen Forms Overnight, Possible Threat To Florida Panhandle

The tropical storm is expected to swell into a Category 1 hurricane as soon as Monday night or early Tuesday as it rolls into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, with winds of at least 70 miles per hour, forecasters said. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads.

A major hurricane is a Category 5, 4 or 3 hurricane, which has winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

Right now, the forecast track has our area on the dry side of the storm because of an approaching cold front that should push Michael away.

Wind: tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the coast within the warning area by Sunday night, making outside preparations hard or unsafe.

On Monday at 5 a.m., the National Hurricane Center issued the Tropical Storm Watch from the Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay. Monday, it became the seventh hurricane of 2018 in the Atlantic Basin. The activation would provide 24-hour enhanced coverage across Florida's Big Bend and Panhandle.

A new tropical storm formed off the coast of Chetumal, Mexico, Sunday and it could develop into a hurricane with a direct impact to the Gulf Coast later this week.

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Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in more than 20 counties along the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend on Sunday and has put more than 5,000 National Guard soldiers on alert.

After reaching land, Michael is expected to travel northeast at hurricane strength as it passes over Georgia.

"Do not take a chance on storm surge", Scott said. Some flooding, and wind damage could be possible, depending on how much the storm strengthens, and how fast it moves over us.

Voluntary, and in some cases, mandatory, evacuations were issued in some areas along the Florida Panhandle coast. The State Emergency Operations Center will activate to level two, engaging the State Emergency Response Team.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth in Cuba, and the Mexican coast from Tulum to Cabo Catoche. Once there, conditions will become a bit more conducive for tropical development, and a tropical depression or tropical storm is expected to form.

Forecasters warned that the storm could produce up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain in western Cuba, potentially triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountainous areas. It will weaken into a tropical storm near the Carolinas and Virginia on its way back to the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters said. Officials also alerted residents living on the coast of the possibility of flooding caused by the storm.


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