Tropical Storm Michael is currently on a path towards Florida and weather experts now believe the storm could strengthen into a category 2 hurricane.
According to ABC News, the storm is around 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and its maximum sustained wind speeds have reached up to 70 mph.
Officials believe that "by the time it makes landfall midweek," Michael could increase its power to hit wind speeds of 96-110 mph, which would designate it as a category 2 storm.
- Tropical Storm Michael has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.— ABC News (@ABC) October 8, 2018
- It is located 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico.
- Officials believe storm could strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall midweek.//t.co/ttyTFMnDYE pic.twitter.com/MXM62PS0tu
Florida Gov. Rick Scott gave a statement regarding the storm on Monday morning, saying that he has declared a State of Emergency in 26 counties ahead of the landfall.
"The Panhandle and Big Bend could see winds in excess of 100 mph," Scott said. "Remember, this storm could grow stronger and be a Category 3 hitting our state. This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous."
He also stated in his message that there was reason to believe that Tropical Storm Michael could become a Category 3 hurricane, but it is unknown if weather officials have confirmed that possibility.
ABC News added that The National Hurricane Center estimates that the storm surge from Michael could be anywhere between seven and 11 feet high in some areas.
In addition to parts of western and northern Florida, a hurricane watch is also in effect for Mobile, Alabama and surrounding areas.
Once the storm makes landfall, some projections estimate that it could make its way across Georgia and into North and South Carolina before moving out into the Atlantic ocean.
This will likely pose a major issue for the Carolinas, which are still recovering from the storm and flood waters that devastated those states when they were hit by Hurricane Florence in early September.
At this time, it is not yet known when Michael may make landfall.