Hurricane Michael roared onto the Florida coastline Wednesday as a high-end Category 4 Storm with winds sustained at 155mph and a minimum central pressure of 919mb. Early reports off of social media indicate that Mexico Beach sustained unprecedented damage. Tyndall AFB, west of Mexico Beach also sustained considerable damage as did Downtown Panama City. Thursday will likely bring more reports.
A HISTORIC STORM
As previously mentioned, Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle (a region that has never recorded a Category 4 or stronger storm) with a pressure of 919mb. That places Michael in the upper echelon of Landfalling U.S. Hurricanes. If everything holds, Michael will go down as the 3rd most intense Hurricane on record at Landfall in the Continental U.S. by Pressure and the 4th strongest Hurricane on record at Landfall in the Continental U.S by Wind speed.
MICHAEL INTENSIFIED QUICKLY
By definition, Rapid Intensification occurs when there is a 24mb drop in 24 hours. Michael underwent rapid intensification from a Category 2 storm to a Category 4 Storm from 12:30CDT Tuesday to 12:30CDT Wednesday…dropping from 965mb to 919mb – a 46mb drop, which is nearly double the required level for rapid intensification. Below is a video that chronicles Michael from the start of his journey as a tropical wave. Notice the rapid strengthening towards the end of the video.
Stay with KSAN for updates on this historic storm.
-Chief Meteorologist Josh Johns