The National Hurricane Center warns Michael could be a major category 3 storm as it approaches landfall along the Florida panhandle later this week.
Michael reached hurricane status Monday morning with maximum winds of 75 miles per hour, moving north at 7 miles per hour as of the 10 a.m. central update.
Rapid intensification of the storm is possible as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico, with maximum winds forecast by the NHC to be 120 miles per hour Wednesday before landfall.
A hurricane watch is in effect from the Alabama-Florida border to Suwannee River, Florida. A tropical storm watch extends from the Suwannee River to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay and the the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Leslie continues to churn and could again reach hurricane strength later this week.
A tropical wave south of the Cabo Verde Islands could become a tropical depression during the next few days before unfavorable conditions for development later in the week.
Finally, a low chance of development is given to a broad non-tropical low pressure system southeast of the Azores.