(Reuters) - Hurricane Michael is strengthening and is expected to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall in northwestern Florida on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory on the storm on Tuesday.
Major hurricanes are those of Category 3 and above on the on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.
At 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), the center of Michael was located about 310 miles (500 km) south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida, the NHC said. It was carrying maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (175 km per hour), the center said.
The storm was moving north over the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
“Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds, and heavy rainfall expected along the northeastern Gulf Coast,” the Miami-based forecaster said.
Reporting by Karen Rodrigues and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Frances Kerry