October 10, 2018

Hurricane Michael Nearing Landfall With 150 MPH Winds

Hurricane Michael is just hours from landfall near Panama City, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 150 MPH. The storm's minimum pressure is now among the top-five lowest for any storm at landfall in the U.S. on record. Its winds are now on-par with those of Hurricane Charley as it made landfall south of Tampa in 2004. No storm this strong has ever struck the Florida Panhandle since reliable records began in the 1800s. We're in uncharted territory now.

My update from last night still mostly holds true. The wind damage and storm surge will be even worse now. It will take longer for the storm to shed its strength as it pushes inland, expanding the area that will see tornado-like wind damage from the core of this hurricane.

Power outages will certainly last weeks—likely months—in the hardest-hit areas. Even inland areas will see weeks-long power outages. Those who stayed (either by choice or circumstance) will face prolonged suffering due to the damage; the lack of electricity and running water, no ability to pump fuel, and shuttered restaurants and stores will leave people in the affected areas completely reliant on their own supplies or those handed out by crews and organizations after the storm.

You still have some hours left if you're in parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, and need to prepare for power outages or flooding. The storm will move at a decent clip once it's inland, but it'll be a sharp sting when it hits.

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I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2014 with a degree in political science and a minor in meteorology. I contribute to The Weather Network as a digital writer, and I've written for Forbes, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, Popular Science, Mental Floss, and Gawker's The Vane. My latest book, The Skies Above, is now available. My first book, The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, arrived in October 2015.