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Tropical Storm Remnants Could Reach Upstate by Thursday

Tropical Storm Michael was almost a hurricane early Monday (Oct. 8) and is expected to reach Category 2 or stronger as it churns over the Gulf of Mexico in the next couple of days, according to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory. The remnants of the storm could reach the Upstate by Thursday.

"Michael is forecast to be near or at major hurricane strength when it reaches the northeastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday," the National Hurricane Center said, indicating it could become a Category 3 storm.

The center projects the storm will hit somewhere in the Florida panhandle on Wednesday or early Thursday.

In its 7 a.m. Monday advisory, the center said Michael was about 120 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph -- nearly a hurricane. The storm was moving north at 7 mph.

Michael is moving slowly northward toward the Yucatan Channel, according to the most recent tracking information. The hurricane center warned that the storm could produce a foot of rain in western Cuba, potentially triggering flash floods and mudslides in mountainous areas. 

Meteorologists expect the storm to strengthen during the next few days, with winds reaching Category 2, or possibly higher, when it reaches the northeastern Gulf on Tuesday or Wednesday. 

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