The devastating hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida with category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and not with 4 as was estimated at the time, according to the National Administration of Oceans and Atmosphere (NOAA, in English).
According to a later “detailed analysis” prepared by scientists from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the USA, which is part of NOAA, the cyclone reached the coasts of Mexico Beach on October 10, in northwestern Florida, with maximum winds of 257 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour), which places it as a category 5 hurricane.
The new analysis increases the power of Michael, who was initially estimated to have made landfall with winds of almost 250 kilometers per hour (155 mph), which makes this hurricane the first to touch US coasts with the highest category since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the fourth since records are kept in this country.
Michael, who, according to the NHC in his report, was “directly responsible” for 16 deaths in the USA. and caused damages for 25,000 million dollars in this country, it is also to date the most powerful hurricane that has hit the so-called “panhandle” of Florida, in the extreme northwest of this state and the second category 5 that touches land in the North of the Gulf of Mexico.
Before reaching the coast of Florida, also near the Tyndall Air Force Base, Michael left feeling his hurricane winds, at that time with category 2, in eastern Cuba.
In addition to Andrew and Michael, the other hurricanes that hit US Category 5 soil were the Labor Day Hurricane, which hit the Florida Keys in 1935, in the extreme south of the country, and Camille in 1969, which hit the coast of the Mississippi.
The new intensity of the cyclone “was determined by a review of available aircraft winds, surface winds, surface pressures, satellite intensity estimates and Doppler radar speeds,” NOAA reported.
In addition to impacting Florida, where the state’s Emergency Management Division estimated 43 deaths “related” to the hurricane, Michael also caused damage in the states of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.