- US National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Michael entered the southeastern part of the Gulf of Mexico today and advances with maximum winds strengthened to 100 miles per hour (155 km / h) in a northwesterly direction, reported the US National Hurricane Center.
Michael still maintains a distance of about 350 or 400 miles (563 and 643 km) with the west coast of Florida, where it is expected to land on Wednesday somewhere in the northwest of that territory with major hurricane status.
According to the most recent bulletin of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), based in Miami, the hurricane, currently category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, is about 395 miles (635 km) south of Panama City and about 365 miles (590 km) south of Apalachicola, both locations in Florida.
It moves at about 12 miles per hour (19 km / h), the same speed as it was on Monday night.
The NHC withdrew a tropical storm warning for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio (at the western end of the island), where Michael's last thumps are still being felt.
Nonetheless, warnings of various categories are maintained for the entire west coast of Florida, part of the Alabama coast, and areas of Mississippi and South Carolina.
The trajectory pattern of the hurricane indicates that the eye of Michael will move today towards the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico in a northerly direction and on Wednesday it will make landfall in the area of the "Panhandle" or the "Big Bend", the northwest corner of the state , and then weaken as it crosses the US southeastern area.
Before reaching the ground, the force of its winds will increase, the NHC said.
Among the greatest dangers that Michael poses for populated areas is the combination of a strong storm surge with the tide, which can cause sea level rise and consequent flooding in coastal areas, warns the NHC.
In some points of the Florida coast the ascent can reach up to 12 feet (3.66 meters).
That coupled with strong winds and heavy rains makes it necessary to take precautions and prepare properly to protect life and property, it adds.
The likelihood of tornadoes will increase from this night not only in the northwest and throughout northern Florida, but in the southern part of Georgia.
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced Monday that public offices in the 35 counties that were declared in a state of emergency will be closed Tuesday through Thursday.
He also asked US President Donald Trump to declare a federal state of emergency prior to the arrival of Michael in order to have federal assistance resources.