By Chris Spears
DENVER (CBS4) – The latest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic Basin strengthened into a hurricane early Monday.
Hurricane Michael was 50 miles south of the western tip of Cuba as of 11 a.m. eastern time and moving to the north at 7 mph.
It’s expected to make landfall somewhere in Florida’s panhandle by Wednesday as a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
The last time a hurricane hit this region with that intensity was Hurricane Dennis in 2005 and Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Florida’s panhandle is extremely prone to flooding from storm surge, in particular, on the east side of where the eye makes landfall.
The latest forecast information on Hurricane Michael is available by clicking here.
Michael is the 13th named storm of the season in the Atlantic Basin.
In a forecast released on August 2, The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University predicted 12 named storms this season.
Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.