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Thursday, 11 October 2018 14:21

Hurricane Michael: 'Confluence of Awful Factors'

(TNS) - Guzzling the superheated waters of the Gulf of Mexico and tempted by a slack atmosphere, Hurricane Michael powered to a record-shattering Category 4 goliath Wednesday with an intensity that trounced some of the most elite cyclones in history.

Its growth from an unassuming tropical storm on Sunday to a 155-mph beast flirting with Cat 5 status was unexpected by meteorologists who watched astonished as Michael’s minimum sea level pressure ticked down to a mind-blowing 919 millibars at landfall.

That’s lower than 1992’s Hurricane Andrew and 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, ranking Michael 3rd in records dating to the 1800s for lowest minimum pressure at landfall, according to Colorado State University hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach.