Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the continental US in 14 years

Posted: 6:45 AM, Oct 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-11 08:33:20-04

Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle with frightening fury.

The Category 4 storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 mph as it made landfall near Mexico Beach .

In terms of wind intensity, that made it much stronger than Hurricane Florence, which had winds of 90 mph when it blew ashore in North Carolina last month.

Hurricane Michael: Live updates

Here are some other facts that show the power of this “ monstrous storm .”

  • Michael was the first Category 4 storm on record to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
  • It was also the first major hurricane (Category 3 or above) to strike the Florida Panhandle since Hurricane Dennis in 2005.
  • After Michael was downgraded Wednesday afternoon, it became the first Category 3 hurricane to track into Georgia since the 1898.
  • A wind gust of 130 mph was reported near Tyndall AFB, close to Panama City, before the instrument failed.
  • Only three major hurricanes made landfall in the Panhandle since 1950 before this: Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005.
  • Hurricane Michael, with 155 mph winds at landfall, is the strongest storm to make landfall in the continental US since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
  • The “forecast cone” for Michael (the storm’s projected path) stretches from Florida all the way north to Maryland.
  • Before Michael made landfall, about 30 million people were under a hurricane watch or warning, or tropical storm watch or warning, across six states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina).
  • Michael is the seventh hurricane of the year in the Atlantic Basin. On average, the Atlantic has about five hurricanes by October 8.
  • Its tropical-storm-force wind speeds stretch for more than 320 miles — equal to the distance between New York City and Pittsburgh.
  • Florida has had more hurricanes in October than in any other month.
  • Hurricane Michael rapidly intensified 45 mph in the 24 hours leading up to landfall.