ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - New information gathered by the National Hurricane Center is now confirming that Hurricane Michael made landfall as a CAT 5 Hurricane.
Even though the adjustment is only a 5 mph increase, 160 mph versus 155 mph, it is important to note that the Category 5 winds were only in a very small area along the coast and near landfall. This change in estimated wind speeds has little significance on the impacts associated with the storm. Meteorologist were able to make the change based on available aircraft winds, surface winds, surface pressure, satellite intensity estimates and Doppler radar velocities- including data and analysis that were not available in real time.
The 5 mph change has some important historical impacts. Hurricane Michael is the 5th Category 5 hurricane to strike the mainland United States on record. By central pressure, Michael remains the 3rd most intense mainland U.S. landing hurricane.
- Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane (1935) - 892 mb (26.35")
- Camille (1969) - 909 mb (26.84")
- Michael (2018) - 919 mb (27.14")
- Andrew (1992) - 920 mb (27.17")
Even with the recent upgrade in sustained wind speed to 160 mph, Michael remains 4th on the list for highest wind speed in a mainland U.S. landing hurricane.
- Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane (1935) - 185 mph (160kt)
- Camille (1969) - 175 mph (150 kt)
- Andrew (1992) - 165 mph (145 kt)
- Michael (2018) - 160 mph (140 kt)
Michael is the first Category 4 or 5 Hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle and the latest Category 5 Hurricane to make U.S. landfall on record.
In all, Michael caused 16 direct fatalities in the U.S.
- Florida: 7 total; 5 storm surge, 2 wind
- Virginia: 5 freshwater flooding
- North Carolina: 3 wind
- Georgia: 1 wind
Michael was associated with 43 indirect deaths in the U.S. and they were all in Florida. This includes, falls during the post-storm cleanup, traffic accidents, and medical issues compounded by the hurricane.
NCEI estimated that the total U.S. damage from Michael was about 25 BILLION dollars.
- 18.4B in Florida
- 4.7B in Georgia
- 1.1B in Alabama
- Smaller amounts in SC, NC, and VA
The FOX 5 Storm Team reported on this story from Atlanta