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Monster Hurricane Michael from 2018 gets late upgrade to category 5 storm

Monster Hurricane Michael from 2018 gets late upgrade to category 5 storm

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Hurricane Michael to a rare Category 5 storm at the time it made landfall last October near Mexico Beach, Florida. The update, forecasters said, has "little practical significance" on how they view destruction from the storm, which killed 16 in the United States and caused about $25 billion in damage.

In the days after the hurricane, officials in four Southern US states reported at least 32 storm-related deaths.

As a Category 5 hurricane, Michael now becomes the first Cat 5 to make landfall in the US since Andrew did so in 1992. "It's just another number", Cathey said Friday.

Camille in 1969 along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane in 1935 were the only other U.S. Category 5 landfalls on record.

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The hurricane center's new analysis also revealed that Michael's atmospheric pressure, a reliable measure of a storm's intensity, was at 919 millibars at landfall in Mexico Beach. Today, the population has dipped to about 400 people and there are less than 500 structures standing. A major storm is considered a Category 3, 4, or 5.

"We note that the 5-[knot] increase in estimated maximum wind speed at landfall is small and well within the normal uncertainty", they wrote. The mayor of Mexico Beach said his city has compiled 1 million cubic yards of debris from the storm.

"The final best track intensity estimate of 140 knots (160 mph) was determined by a review of the available aircraft winds, surface winds, surface pressures, satellite intensity estimates and Doppler radar velocities - including data and analyses that were not available in real time", the hurricane center said. "We still don't have a pretty face". It's only the forth of its kind on record for the United States, including the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969.

More than six months since Hurricane Michael sawed through the Florida Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center has upgraded the storm to a Category 5 rating. Its winds were previously estimated at 155 miles per hour, a high-end Category 4.


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