Tropical Storm Michael could bring heavy rainfall to Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Michael could bring heavy rainfall to Gulf Coast

This image from the National Hurricane Center shows Tropical Storm Michael on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. 


A tropical depression strengthened on Sunday into Tropical Storm Michael, which the National Hurricane Center says could bring heavy rainfall and flooding to Mexico, Cuba and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth. There's also a warning in effect for the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.

Forecasters said the storm could become a hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday. The storm could bring rainfall totals of 3 to 7 inches over western Cuba and 2 to 4 inches over the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize through Tuesday.  

The hurricane center said the storm could produce rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches across the Florida Keys through Monday. Gov. Rick Scott announced Sunday that he planned to declare a state of emergency for counties in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend.

"As we continue to monitor this storm's northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that our communities have every available resource to keep everyone safe and prepared," he said, according to CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP.


This image shows the project path of Tropical Storm Michael on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.


As of 1 p.m. ET Sunday, the storm was located 90 miles of Cozumel, Mexico, and had 40 mph winds. It was heading north at 5 mph. The hurricane center said Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft were en route to investigate the storm.

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