Hurricane Michael Strengthens to a Category 4
- by Melissa De Leon
FLORIDA - After only one day, Hurricane Michael is now close to a catastrophic, unprecedented Category 4 hurricane. It is expected to strike on the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, with a life-threatening storm surge and over 100 mph winds possible near the coast and inland.
If Michael makes landfall as a Category 4 storm, as expected, it will be the strongest hurricane to ever come ashore along the Florida Panhandle in records dating to 1851, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Tropical Scientist at Colorado State University. In fact, Florida's entire Gulf Coast north of Punta Gorda has never recorded a Category 4-plus hurricane landfall, reported Weather.com.
Weather.com went on to note that landfall will most likely occur along the Florida Panhandle this afternoon. After landfall, Michael will then accelerate inland across the southeastern United States Wednesday night through Thursday night, bringing gusty winds and heavy rain. Michael could also enhance rainfall in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England Thursday night through Friday.
As we covered yesterday, mandatory evacuations are still in effect throughout much of the region.
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