Read about the latest updates from the National Hurricane Center about Hurricane Michael as it bears down on the Panhandle of Florida

4 P.M. What the Hurricane Center has been predicting has come to pass - Hurricane Michael has strengthened into a major hurricane.

As of the 4 p.m. advisory Tuesday, Michael had winds of 120 mph. The pressure was down to 957 millibars. The hurricane was moving north at 12 mph.

In its discussion, the center said the environment ahead of Michael was conducive to intensification. It expected the storm to turn due north tonight, then northeastward on Wednesday.

Tropical storm watches and warnings were raised along the East Coast on Tuesday afternoon.

1 P.M. The 1 p.m. advisory on Hurricane Michael is out, and not much has changed from the previous report.

Michael's winds remain at 110 mph and the storm continues to move north-northwest at 12 mph. The central pressure remains 965 millibars.

The hurricane was located at about 335 miles south of Panama City.

There was no change in the watches and warnings lineup from the previous advisory.

 

10 A.M. Hurricane Michael continued to intensify Tuesday morning as it marched northward toward a predicted Northwest Florida landfall.

According to the 10 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Michael's winds had increased to 110 mph and the central pressure was down to 965 millibars.

Michael was located about 360 miles south of Panama City and was moving north at 12 mph.

As of 10 a.m., the hurricane watch for the coast of Alabama was discontinued.

In its discussion, the Hurricane Center said the storm was becoming better organized and would be a major hurricane upon landfall.

The storm should continue on its current direction until Wednesday, when it is expected to turn northeast and go ashore just east of Panama City.

8:40 A.M. Here is a summary of watches and warnings, key messages regarding Hurricane Michael as of the 7 a.m. advisory

Key messages

1. Life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast, and a storm surge warning is in effect for these areas. Residents in these areas should follow all advice given by their local officials.

2. A hurricane warning has been issued for portions of the Florida Gulf Coast, and everyone in these areas should prepare for life-threatening winds associated with the core of Michael. Damaging winds will also extend inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southern Georgia, and southeast Alabama as Michael moves inland.

3. Heavy rainfall from Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia and South Carolina.

4. Tropical storm conditions will continue in portions of western Cuba for a few more hours.

5. Michael is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding over portions of western Cuba during the next day or so.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...


Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida to Anclote River Florida

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...


Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay
Alabama/Florida border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...


Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River Florida

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...


Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...


Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border
Suwanee River Florida to Chassahowitzka Florida

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...


Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay
Mississippi/Alabama border to the Mouth of the Pearl River
Fernandina Beach Florida to South Santee River South Carolina

 

7 A.M. Hurricane Michael has entered the Gulf of Mexico and is picking up steam as it tracks towards the Florida Panhandle at 12 miles per hour, according to the 7 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

The NHC upgraded Michael to a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour as it swirls in the southern Gulf of Mexico. It's expected to strengthen to a Category 3 or even 4 by Wednesday afternoon.

Models indicate Michael appears to be zoning in on the Big Bend for potential landfall, though areas from Destin to Apalachicola are still in the "cone of uncertainty."

Tropical storm-force winds are expected to be in the area as soon as Tuesday night.

The entire Florida Panhandle is under a hurricane warning and a storm surge warning.