Michael now a Category 4 hurricane, poses extreme danger to Florida

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Enlarge / Patrons enjoy beverages outside Buster’s Beer & Bait, one of the last bars in the area still open, as Hurricane Michael approaches the Florida panhandle, in Panama City Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 09. (credit: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Hurricane Michael continued to intensify during Tuesday night, bringing an unprecedentedly strong storm to the northwest Florida coast on Wednesday. This is a serious situation for the Florida Panhandle and downstream areas in southeastern Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

As of the National Hurricane Center’s 9am ET update, Michael had 145mph sustained winds, solidly in the range of a Category-4 major hurricane. Winds along the Florida coast were already rising above tropical storm strength at the time, all but closing the window for further evacuations as the storm nears shore and moves inland later today.

Perhaps most concerning, Michael’s central pressure continued to fall during the overnight hours, down to 933 millibars by Wednesday morning. This is an indication of the storm’s organization, and with Michael’s satellite appearance actually improving as the storm approaches land, some slight further intensification is possible today before landfall near Panama City. If Michael’s central pressure falls further, to 930 millibars, it would rank among the 10 most intense hurricanes to make landfall in the US on record in terms of central pressure.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Michael now a Category 4 hurricane, poses extreme danger to Florida