Just a quick note to inform those of you who get all your news here, that Hurricane Michael strengthened to a Category 4 storm, and will be a Category 4 storm at the time of landfall today, wed, mid day or early afternoon. I’m asking around to see if storm experts see that as truly unexpected or in the range of normal variation. My bet: Deep warm surface waters (to 100 meters or so) at “hurricane level” temperatures fueling the storm. That happened with Katrina, Maria, Pacific Yolanda, other storms. Just a guess on my part for now.
The storm is actually continuing to get stronger, but will remain in the Category 4 range.
Maximum sustained winds, therefore, will be ca 140-145 mph, which is equivalent to and F-2 tornado,but the size of Rhode Island.
In addition, note that this storm is now predicted to remain as a Hurricane way inland, and may be a Category 1 storm past Albany, Georgia.
In short, Michael will be one of the most impressive hurricanes to ever make landfall in the Atlantic US. And just think only a few days ago, we had no idea it was coming. My friend Paul Douglas just confirmed for me that a Category 4 hurricane has never hit the panhandle of Florida.
One tiny piece of good news. The storm is making a rightward turn, just a small one, and the bulls eye has held steady or moved slightly west. This has the effect of reducing the strength of the storm surge east of Apalachicola. A little.
I would not want to be a barrier island or estuary anywhere near Port St. Joe this afternoon.