Michael strengthens into Category 3 hurricane

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) – Forecasters say Michael has strengthened into a major hurricane with winds of 120 mph (190 kph).

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says in a Tuesday evening advisory that Michael has become a Category 3 hurricane and is moving north across the Gulf of Mexico at 12 mph (19 kph). The hurricane is about 295 miles (475 kilometers) south of Panama City Beach, Florida.

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Michael is expected to continue across the Gulf through the night and move inland over the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. It is forecast to be a major hurricane at landfall and weaken as it moves across the southeastern U.S.

The hurricane center says some areas could see as much as 13 feet (4 meters) of storm surge and 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain.