Hurricane Michael

On Wednesday 10 October, Hurricane Michael made landfall on the northwest coast of Florida's Panhandle. Hurricane Michael is the second major hurricane that has developed during the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Making landfall with a classification on the Saffir-Simpson of category 4, Hurricane Michael is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the month of October since Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and the strongest to directly strike the Florida Panhandle area.

Prior to making landfall, Hurricane Michael experienced rapid intensification which was not anticipated. The system pressure for the hurricane reached 919mbar, which would place it third on the intensity rankings for hurricanes making landfall in the United States.

The north-western side of Florida's Panhandle was severely affected by Hurricane Michael. Severe storm surge resulted in coastal flooding, alongside sustained winds of 80-100mph, with gusts of up to 160mph causing significant damage to the region. The worst affected areas along this coastline were Mexico City Beach, Panama City Beach and Apalachicola. The observed water level in Apalachicola reached record breaking heights for the area, surpassing 2.32m, with the previous record being 1.95m.

Damage to property has mainly consisted of wind damage and storm surge inundation. As of Thursday 11 October, it is reported that up to 700,000 individuals are without power. Reports suggest that around 359,000 instances are in Florida, 176,000 in Georgia and 43,000 in Alabama, with South and North Carolina beginning to experience similar issues and reporting 114,000 and 23,000 outages respectively. It has been reported that Hurricane Michael has caused six fatalities.

Please email our event response team for further information or to request our storm surge extents and depths, made using our new 5m Florida Flood Map.



Image ©NWS/NOAA 2018