Hurricane Michael was very close to major hurricane status Tuesday morning, with maximum winds just below category 3 strength.
Michael was moving due north at 12 miles per hour, a general motion that is expected to continue before a turn to the northeast towards the Florida panhandle.
"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," said a National Hurricane Center forecaster in the 10 a.m. CDT advisory. "Water levels will rise well in advance of the center of Michael, and residents within the storm surge warning area should finish preparations to protect life and property today."
The impacts to Louisiana from Michael appear to be minimal, outside of the possibility of some outflow rain showers and some coastal flooding.
Meanwhile, out in the far Atlantic, Tropical Storm Nadine has formed about 480 miles southwest of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands. The system is expected to remain over water and dissipate in the next four to five days.
To the northwest of Nadine, Tropical Storm Leslie continues to meander and could reach hurricane strength again by Wednesday. Confidence in Leslie's official track remains low.