Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael

10 October 2018 03:00 UTC

Hurricane Michael
Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael was strongest hurricane on record in the Florida Panhandle, when it hit the US in early October 2018.

Last Updated

05 December 2022

Published on

10 October 2018

By Sancha Lancaster (Pactum)

Michael was the 13th named storm, seventh hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. It originated from a broad low-pressure area in the western Caribbean Sea, becoming a tropical depression on 7 October.

 Enhanced Metop-B AVHRR Natural Colour RGB, 10 October 15:31 UTC
Figure 1: Enhanced Metop-B AVHRR Natural Colour RGB, 10 October 15:31 UTC

It intensified into a hurricane on 8 October, near the western tip of Cuba. Strengthening continued in the Gulf of Mexico and on 9 October it became a Category 4 hurricane.

On 10 October Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach Florida with peak winds of 155mph (250km/h), becoming the region's first Category 4 hurricane and the third-most intense (in terms of central pressure) Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States.

As it moved inland, the hurricane weakened and began to take a northeastward trajectory toward Chesapeake Bay, weakening to a tropical storm over Georgia and transitioning into an extratropical cyclone over the mid-Atlantic states on 12 October.


  • At least 12 people were reported to have died in the Florida Panhandle area.
  • In Mexico Beach, many homes were flattened or completely swept away by storm surges.
  • Debris on Interstate 10 resulted in the roadway being closed between Lake Seminole and Tallahassee (approx. 130km).
  • More than 400,000 electrical customers in Georgia were left without power and at least 127 roads were blocked by fallen trees or debris.
  • In Albany, 24,270 electrical customers lost power and several trees fell on homes and roads, blocking about 100 intersections.
  • High winds left 200,651 people without power in the Cuban province of Pinar del Río.

Additional content

Hurricane Michael Makes Landfall (NOAA/NESDIS)
Michael's death toll jumps; utter devastation in Panhandle -- live updates (CBS)