Those two flows interacting together will keep Michael moving nearly due north.
The system is expected to become a tropical depression late Saturday or Sunday and become a tropical storm by Sunday night, the center said. Its movement speed was only 8 km/h. The hurricane center's current forecast track shows the storm is expected to strengthen further and could hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category I hurricane on Wednesday. On Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a Storm Surge Watch from Navarre to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay.
Scott also activated 500 National Guard Troops in advance of the storm.
After hitting Florida, the storm is forecast to move northeast along the Atlantic Coast and batter the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.
The Hurricane Center predicts that Michael will reach hurricane intensity with 80 miles per hour (or Category 1) winds by Tuesday, increasing to 100 miles per hour by Wednesday (or Category 2) around the time of landfall. A tropical storm watch has been issued from the Alabama-Florida border to the Mississippi-Alabama border.
An Air Force hurricane hunter airplane was sent into the storm to investigate, the hurricane centre said. It was moving to the north at 7 miles per hour.
"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely risky", said Scott, who also warned of hurricane-driven storm surge that could affect most of the state: "If this storm hits Panama City, Tampa could still have storm surge".
In eastern Georgia, the Carolinas and southern Virginia, 3-to-6 inch rainfall amounts are expected which could also lead to flash floods. "As we continue to monitor this storm's northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that our communities have every available resource to keep everyone safe and prepared". Those tropical storm effects will extend inland across southern Georgia and into SC - the storm will pick up speed as it's carried at the tail end of a cold front.
According to NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen, Michael is the 13th named storm of the 2018 hurricane season. The storm was about 140 miles (230 kilometers) south-southwest of the western tip of Cuba as of Sunday evening. And an area of disturbed weather south of the Cabo Verde Islands has a 20-30 percent chance of becoming a storm over the next five days.