(Gray News) – Six months after Hurricane Michael devastated parts of the Florida panhandle, National Hurricane Center scientists have upgraded it to a Category 5 storm.
The change came following a detailed analysis that determined Michael roared ashore on October 10, near Mexico Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base with 160 mph winds, putting it at the top of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Forecasters orginally pegged Michael’s top sustained winds at landfall at 155 mph, just short of the Category 5 threshold.
“Category 5 winds were likely experienced over a very small area at and near the coast, and the change in estimated wind speeds is of little practical significance in terms of the impacts associated with the storm,” the National Hurricane Center said.
“Michael produced devastating winds and storm surge and was directly responsible for 16 deaths and about $25 billion in damage in the United States.”