Still far off, Michael a growing menace to Florida Panhandle

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via AP

This satellite image shows a view of Tropical Storm Michael, lower right, churning as it heads toward the Florida Panhandle Sunday at 6:52 p.m. Eastern Time.

ORLANDO, Fla. — A tropical storm that rapidly formed off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula has gained new strength and could become a dangerous Category 2 hurricane with an expected midweek strike on the Gulf Coast in the Florida Panhandle, forecasts say.