"Michael could produce three life-threatening hazards along portions of the northeastern Gulf Coast: storm surge, heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds", according to the hurricane center.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Alabama Gulf coast, while a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the northwestern coast of Florida.
Intensifying quickly over the past 24 hours into a Category 1 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center is predicting that Michael will be a major hurricane by landfall. On Monday morning, the National Weather Service issued a Storm Surge Watch from Navarre to Anna Maria Island, including Tampa Bay.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says newly named Tropical Storm Michael could strengthen to a hurricane as it heads to the Florida Panhandle.
The NHC also added in its advisory that Michael is likely to turn into a hurricane by Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
As of the 11 a.m. advisory Monday, the NHC upgraded Michael to a category 1 hurricane, with winds of 75 miles per hour.
The Hurricane Center's forecast calls for Michael to become a hurricane later Monday and make landfall Wednesday with 100 miles per hour winds, which would make it a Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.
Michael is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Florida Big Bend area on Wednesday, and then move northeastward across the southeastern United States Wednesday night and Thursday.
More than 45 percent of the nation's refining capacity is located along the U.S. Gulf Coast, which also is home to 51 percent of total U.S. natural gas processing capability.
From there, all indications are that it will move farther north or to the northeast.
The system is expected to bring rain around the same time the King Tide is expected, making St. Augustine and other areas more vulnerable to flooding.
The governor declared a state of emergency for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy and Citrus counties.
The north Florida city of Tallahassee on Sunday opened two locations where residents could get sandbags in case of flooding.