Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

Historic Hurricane Michael hits Florida — WHAT'S HAPPENING

Historic Hurricane Michael hits Florida — WHAT'S HAPPENING

There has never been a Category 4 storm make landfall along the Panhandle and Michael just missed the Category 5 threshold of 157 miles per hour as it arrived near Mexico Beach.

Scientists say global warming is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, floods and fires, and Michael was fueled by abnormal water temperatures in the Gulf - 4-to-5 degrees above the historic norm for this time of year.

The Hurricane Hunters are charged with gathering data from inside storms in order to help the National Hurricane Center improve the accuracy of its forecasts of "the cone of uncertainty", the probable track of the center of a tropical cyclone.

In Panacea, the water was already rapidly rising. A National Ocean Service water level station at Apalachicola recently reported almost 6.5 feet of inundation above ground level.

At least one person was killed when a tree crashed into his Greensboro, Florida home.

People walk past damaged stores after hurricane Michael passed through the downtown area of Panama City in Florida.

Even as Michael moved farther inland, it continued to pack maximum sustained winds of up to 225kmh and has a well-defined eye.

Meteorologists use another measure to evaluate hurricane intensity: central pressure.

The Carolinas are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which left dozens dead and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damage last month.

"Panama City, I don't know if there will be much left", he added.

The dire verdict is due in part to the extremely rapid strengthening of the storm, from Category 2 in the morning.

Michael was the first storm of its magnitude to make landfall in the Panhandle since record-keeping there began in 1851.

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Though wind speed is the basis for hurricane categories, central pressure is actually a better measure of damage that a hurricane will cause, a study published a year ago in the journal Nature Communications found. Numerous same counties are also under flash flood warnings.

In Lynn Haven, north of Panama City, he described finding one woman curled up in a fetal position in a garage with a tree over her head - a "very unsafe, sketchy situation", he said.

The death, in an area west of state capital Tallahassee, was the first confirmed since Michael made landfall.

At a rally in Pennsylvania on Wednesday night, Trump offered his "thoughts and prayers" to those in the path of the storm and said he would be visiting Florida soon.

WIND IMPACTS: While the ground has dried out quite a bit, any heavy rain could cause localized flash flooding. "Many are well prepared to go through a Cat 1 or Cat 2 storm, but it just very quickly gained in intensity".

Storm surge warnings were in place along the Florida and Alabama coasts.

Buck Allen's hometown of Miccosukee is situated in the panhandle of Florida, which was also expected to bear the brunt of Hurricane Michael as it made landfall Wednesday afternoon.

At landfall, the storm's peak winds were fourth highest on record for a hurricane hitting the continental United States and the pressure ranked third lowest (the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm), below even Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005. It'll dry out for the Sox game in time and be dry again Sunday.

With winds of 155mph and a storm surge of nearly 14 feet, the hurricane has left a trail of destruction more than 100 miles wide at its immediate point of impact and stretching in excess of 200 miles inland into southern Georgia, where it finally subsided into a rain-heavy tropical storm. "But my grandma, she really wouldn't want to leave unless it's really unsafe and I force her to do it". Wind damage was also evident. By Friday, it should be a post-tropical cyclone, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The most powerful hurricane ever to hit north-west Florida has flooded beach towns, submerging homes and snapping trees like twigs. Soon enough, Mexico Beach's emerald waters and sugar-sand beaches were covered in a dark sea of debris, she said.

More than 300 miles of coastline were under threat, the National Weather Service said.

Cleanup is just beginning in Marianna, Florida as winds and driving rain from Hurricane Michael finally recede, but it could take weeks.

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