TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Residents in the Florida Panhandle and south Georgia need to stay aware and prepared for impacts from Tropical Storm Michael, which is forecast to reach the coast by Wednesday.
As of 5:00 pm EDT, Tropical Storm Michael is about 190 miles south southwest of Cuba with sustained winds of 50 mph. Although this storm is moving slow, it is forecast to increase in speed once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico.
While in the Gulf, models are indicating that Michael may strengthen and become a hurricane before reaching the northeastern Gulf Coast.
Currently, the forecast cone does include the Big Bend and south Georgia. We will likely see heavy rain and strong winds as this storm approaches until it moves past our area. Some flooding, and wind damage could be possible, depending on how much the storm strengthens, and how fast it moves over us.
In addition, those living the coastal communities need to be aware of strong rip currents, and potential storm surge threats, likely beginning on Wednesday.
Right now, we do not have any active warnings or watched regarding this system, but that will likely change as Tropical Storm Michael moves closer to us and strengthens. Make sure you have a way to continue getting updates, and check to make sure your hurricane kit is fully stocked before the storm arrives.