Hurricane Michael rapidly gained strength in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and continued to intensify Wednesday morning, threatening to become the most intense hurricane on record to strike the Florida Panhandle. The dangerous Category 4 hurricane has winds up to 145 mph, and is predicted to make landfall Wednesday afternoon. It would be the first time a Category 4 hurricane strikes the Florida Panhandle since records began in 1851.CatastropheProperty
As the storm intensified Tuesday evening, forecasters on Twitter described feelings of sickness and dread. “Hurricanes that intensify overnight just before reaching land are the worst nightmare of forecasters and emergency managers,” tweeted Weather Undergrounds Bob Henson.