ORLANDO, Florida — Michael’s rapid intensification shortly before landfall on Wednesday, October 10 was one for the history books.

  • Michael almost strengthened into Category 5 hurricane
  • Michael second Category 4 storm to make landfall in Florida in October
  • Michael strongest hurricane to hit the Panhandle

Michael strengthened to an almost Category 5 Hurricane just hours before the eye made landfall 5 miles northwest of Mexico Beach with winds of 155 mph.

This storm first developed into tropical depression fourteen in the western Caribbean on Sunday morning, October 7.

The system quickly became organized in the Caribbean by that Sunday afternoon and Tropical Storm Michael developed.

It then became a category 1 hurricane on Monday, October 8, and it continued to strengthen to its historic levels before landfall Wednesday afternoon.

Michael becomes only the second Category 4 hurricane hurricane to make landfall in Florida during the month of October — the first was Hurricane King in 1950.

It is the third strongest hurricane to hit Florida based on wind behind the Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Andrew.

Michael is the strongest to hit the Florida Panhandle based on its low pressure of 919 mb. Pressure is another indicator of how strong a hurricane is along with wind. The lower the pressure, the stronger the winds and the stronger the hurricane.

It has the lowest pressure of any hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. during the month of October. Previously, it was the Georgia hurricane of 1898 and Hazel in 1954. They both had a pressure of 938 mb at landfall.

Michael has the third lowest pressure of any hurricane to hit the continental U.S. overall. It is behind the Labor Day hurricane in 1935 that had a pressure of 892 mb and Camille in 1969 with a pressure of 900 mb.

Michael is the strongest October hurricane to impact the continental U.S. on record based on wind. Previously, it was 130 mph held by Chenier Caminanda of 1893, the Georgia hurricane of 1899, Hurricane King of 1950, and Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

Michael is the third Category 4 hurricane to impact the U.S. in the past two years. The other two are Harvey and Irma.

Collectively, Michael is the fourth strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. based on wind. The first three are Labor Day, Camille, and Andrew.

There have been 14 named storms this hurricane season. This makes 2018 an above average year with seven hurricanes, and two have been major hurricanes — Florence and Michael.

*Hurricane records go back to 1851.