DESTIN, FL (WMC) - The National Hurricane Center upgraded Michael to a Category 4 hurricane ahead of its expected landfall Wednesday.
Michael continues to move north toward the Florida coast with landfall expected to be somewhere between Destin and Apalachicola Wednesday afternoon.
Michael poses a myriad of threats to the Florida coast with wind and storm surge being the greatest concern. Storm surge near the eye wall is expected to be 9 to 13 feet and possibly higher in some areas between Panama City Beach and Apalachicola.
The storm is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain for areas in its path posing a threat for flash flooding well inland into southern Georgia and parts of South Carolina.
Tornadoes are also a major concern with this storm from Florida to southern Alabama and Georgia as well as North and South Carolina.
Once making landfall the storm will quickly weaken but still pose a flash flood and severe weather threat to states in its path from Florida to Virginia.
Mandatory evacuations are already in place along the Florida coast for communities in the storms direct path.
After making the landfall Wednesday afternoon the storm is expected to rapidly move northeast and enter the Atlantic Friday morning, where it will likely remain a tropical storm as it moves northeast along the U.S. coast, skirting Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as it makes its way into the north Atlantic next over the weekend.
WMC Action News 5 Storm Tracking Team