Hurricane Michael, which became a Category 2 storm Tuesday, is on track to slam into the Florida Panhandle by midweek.
The National Hurricane Center's intensity forecast predicts that the storm will be a Category 3 major hurricane when it makes landfall Wednesday, bringing with it the threat of life-threatening storm surge, damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding.
Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who called Michael a "monstrous hurricane," declared a state of emergency in dozens of counties, ordered mandatory evacuations along the panhandle, and has activated hundreds of National Guards members.
From @NHC_Atlantic: “#Michael is expected to become a major hurricane later today and remain a dangerous major hurricane through landfall.”— Steven Shepard (@POLITICO_Steve) October 9, 2018
Forecast map -> pic.twitter.com/RzrIdmvvPU
Weather.com says Michael may be the strongest storm to hit Florida's Panhandle Gulf Coast in 12 years.
The latest hurricane to threaten the U.S. comes a little more than a month after Hurricane Florence made landfall over the Carolinas and caused an immense amount of devastation with a deluge of rain and flooding.