Hurricane Michael brings tropical storm watch to coastal Hillsborough County

The latest alert expires after midnight.

According to the National Weather Service, heavy rainfall from Hurricane Michael could produce life-threatening flash flooding from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region into portions of Georgia, the Carolinas, and southeast Virginia. 

For now, Tampa Bay appears to be in the clear despite coastal Hillsborough county being under a tropical storm watch while the Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds makes its way north across the Gulf of Mexico at about 12 mph. It is expected to make landfall just after 2 p.m. EST.

Life-threatening storm surge is expected for our neighbors to the north, but the Bay area could see a surge of up to four feet.