Tropical Storm Michael Now a Category 1 Hurricane

Tropical Storm Michael has now officially been designated as a Category 1 Hurricane, according to [...]

Tropical Storm Michael has now officially been designated as a Category 1 Hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

CNN reports that the organization released a statement calling the storm a "dangerous major hurricane," and emphasizing the damage it could do once it makes landfall.

"Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall, and hurricane-force winds, with storm surge and hurricane watches in effect," The NHC wrote in a recent tweet. "Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials."

In a subsequent post, the NHC added that the storm surge Hurricane Michael will produce should also be cause for caution.

"A life-threatening storm surge from Michael is expected along much of the coast of the Florida Panhandle with peak inundation values occurring within the Big Bend," the group's Storm Surge Unit explained.

Michael is on a path headed towards the western and northern parts of Florida, as well as parts if southern Alabama.

During a press briefing, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said that "Michael will be will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous" and that it "has the potential to bring devastating impacts to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend." He went on to assert that "every family must be prepared."

"Everybody's got to get ready. Don't take a chance," he added. "We're going to get storm surge, we have wind, we have a chance of flooding, we have a significant chance of tornadoes."

Scott has also preemptively declared a State of Emergency in numerous counties, including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy and Citrus.

At this time, officials do not appear to have given a specific day on when they expect Michael to make landfall, though it is expected to be within the next few days.