Here's how Hurricane Michael could impact Maryland

But within a few hours it gained more strength and by Sunday evening, it had top sustained winds of 95 kph.

After hitting Florida, the storm is forecast to move northeast on Wednesday and Thursday along the Atlantic Coast and batter the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

This would make the storm a major hurricane with maximum sustained winds of between 111 and 129 miles per hour.

The tropical storm had swelled to category one hurricane status on Monday.

The storm is aiming at a region that stretches from Mobile, Alabama, through the Florida Panhandle and into the Big Bend area of northern Florida.

Hurricane watches have been issued for the Alabama-Florida border, meaning hurricane conditions are expected within the next 48 hours as the storm continues to rapidly intensify.

A hurricane watch is in effect for the Alabama-Florida border to Suwannee River Florida, the NHC said in a 2 p.m. update on October 8.

He also stated in his message that there was reason to believe that Tropical Storm Michael could become a Category 3 hurricane, but it is unknown if weather officials have confirmed that possibility.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", Scott said during a press conference.

Rick Scott says Michael is a "monstrous storm" that has the potential to be devastating to the Florida Panhandle.

Scott said 500 Florida National Guard members had been activated for planning, logistics and response, and another 5,000 stood at the ready. "Take this seriously and keep your family safe", Scott urged his constituents while speaking from Bay County. These chances could go up as we get greater confidence in the forecast.

Conditions along Volusia County beaches were windy on Sunday, said Capt. Tamara Malphurs with Volusia County Beach Safety and Ocean Rescue. All schools in Panama City and surrounding Bay County will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. In Charlotte, Panovich said the European model shows the storm slowing down and could have a bigger impact than other long-range models. From there, the storm will quickly move northeastward into the Carolinas by Thursday.

Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued over the northeastern portion of Mexico's Yucatan Penninsula and the western portions of Cuba ahead of the storm. Heavy rain is not expected on Monday.

According to an alert published by the Cuban Civil Defense, meteorologists warned affected residents that they could experience hurricane-force winds. There is also a threat of tornadoes, especially if the storm moves to the west of Myrtle Beach.

Vanessa Coleman