At 8 a.m., Michael was centred was about 90 miles from Panama City and Apalachicola, moving fast at 13 miles per hour.
Unsafe hurricane-force winds could extend across the Panhandle and into southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama.
"Weakening is expected after landfall as Michael moves through the southeastern United States". Wind speeds are expected to be highest along the coast and sounds.
This next live radar is another angle from Windy.com, in case the one from The Washington Post at the top of the page goes down.
The warning was issued just after 5 a.m. Wednesday by the National Weather Service and extends west across the Georgia state line.
AccuWeather projects a storm surge of 10 to 15 feet in some areas of the western Florida coast, as well as waves that could reach 30 feet in height.
The brute storm that sprang from a weekend tropical depression gained in fury and size just hours ahead of Wednesday's projected midday landfall, packed 125 mph (200 kph) winds as a risky Category 3 storm.
"This is your last chance to get prepared for this monstrous and deadly storm". There is no way to hide from storm surge. "Low-lying areas - the Gulf of Mexico is kind of like a basin of water all being pushed up on people and if you're still there when that comes in, you're going to die".
The neighbouring states of Alabama and Georgia have also declared a state of emergency. Hurricane Michael's Category 4 rating means the storm will be accompanied by dangerously high winds that could produce significant damage and pose extensive safety risks.
Images on social media showed evacuating families wading through water to get to safety. The forecast for the Onslow County area is less with about two to three inches of rain, mainly on Thursday but some rain from the storm to begin Wednesday.
Offshore energy production has already been affected - with USA producers in the Gulf cutting oil production by about 40% on Tuesday.