A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 36 hours.
The storm is expected to further strengthen into a hurricane in the next couple of days as its center travels over the Yucatan Channel, crosses the Gulf of Mexico and nears the Florida Panhandle coast around Wednesday.
As of 11 p.m. EDT, the storm had winds of 60 mph and was about 105 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.
The depression is moving toward the north near 3 miles per hour.
As far as wind goes, we can plan on 15-25 miles per hour sustained winds, with gusts over 40 miles per hour at times.
Several watches and warnings are now in effect.
"Nearly all of the intensity models bring the cyclone to hurricane strength over the Gulf of Mexico in 2 to 3 days", the 10 a.m. Sundayforecast discussion by the National Hurricane Center said.
The NHC says that Michael is expected to cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline because of a unsafe storm surge and tide. Hurricane Michael is forecast to become a strong Category 3 hurricane before it makes landfall along the Florida Panhandle Wednesday.
The National Hurricane Center indicates that Tropical Depression 14 has strengthened and is now Tropical Storm Michael, centered over the northwest Caribbean Sea. Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba.
In a morning update, National Hurricane Center forecasters said a hurricane hunter plane discovered early Monday that the storm had intensified despite upper levels winds expected to keep it in check.
Up to a foot of rain is possible in western Cuba, which could "lead to life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain", the hurricane center warned.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum canceled campaign events in South Florida on Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the storm, his campaign said. The Florida Panhandle and Big Bend into the Carolinas is expected to get four to eight inches as well, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches.