Caribbean storm upgraded to Tropical Storm Michael as forecasters say it may intensify into a hurricane

A tropical depression churning in the Caribbean was upgraded to Tropical Storm Michael and may strengthen to a hurricane mid-week as it heads toward the Florida Panhandle, forecasters said.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center on Sunday said the storm had winds of up to 40 mph and advised residents along the northeastern and central U.S. Gulf Coast to monitor the storm’s progress.

The storm was about 90 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico by mid-day Sunday.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth as well as the coast of Mexico from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday said he planned to declare a state of emergency for counties in the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend area of the state. The declaration will free up…

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