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|May 19, 2019|
Hurricane Michael in superlatives, a storm for the record books
Hurricane Michael made a Category 4 landfall in the U.S. Wednesday with unprecedented strength in the Florida Panhandle.
At a Glance
• Only 27 hurricanes have made landfall in the continental U.S. at Category 4 or stronger intensity.
• Hurricane Michael will do so in a location unprecedented in records since the mid-1800s.
• Michael will be one of the most intense continental U.S. landfalls on record.
• Michael will also be the first October U.S. Category 4+ landfall in 64 years.
Hurricane Michael made a Category 4 landfall in the U.S., not only historically rare for any location along the Gulf Coast or Southeast coast, but a landfall of unprecedented strength in the Florida Panhandle.
Prior to Michael, there were 27 Category 4 or stronger hurricanes that made landfall in the continental U.S. in records dating to 1851, according to NOAA's Hurricane Research Division.
Florida has had the most such Category 4+ landfalls with 13, followed by Texas with 7. All 13 of those Florida landfalls happened in South Florida.
There haven't been any Category 4 or stronger landfalls further north along the Florida Gulf coasts than Hurricane Charley, which slammed ashore on Sanibel Island near Fort Myers/Cape Coral in 2004.
Prior to Michael, no Category 4 or stronger made landfall in the U.S. in the 600-plus-mile stretch between Charley's landfall in southwest Florida and where Camille roared ashore as a Category 5 in Mississippi in 1969.
Michael is the most intense hurricane to landfall in the Florida Panhandle, according to NOAA's 167-year best-track hurricane database.
It will also be one of the most intense landfalls ever in the continental U.S., as measured by the hurricane's central pressure, one metric meteorologists use to put hurricanes into historical context. The lower the pressure, the more intense the hurricane.
Only Hurricane Katrina has cracked this list so far this century.
The majority of continental U.S. Category 4+ hurricane landfalls have happened in either September or August.
Michael will also be the first Category 4+ continental U.S. hurricane landfall to happen in October in 64 years.
Story Date: October 11, 2018