Hurricane Michael has made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida with sustained winds of 155 mph. Its minimum central pressure — a key indicator of hurricane strength —was measured at 919 millibars. That central pressure is lower than that of Hurricanes Andrew or Katrina.
The Atlantic Ocean has seen its fair share of strong storms — 2017’s Hurricane Irma reached a maximum sustained wind speed of 185 mph, making it the strongest storm ever outside the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
The categories on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale are determined based on wind speed. Michael’s winds puts it just shy of a Category 5 storm (the cut off is 156 mph).
But that’s not the only element of a hurricane that causes damage. Flooding from rain and storm surge, a metric those categories don’t take into account, is a costly problem, as seen when Hurricane Harvey flooded parts of Texas and Louisiana last year.
To put big storms into perspective, here are 11 hurricanes that topped the charts as the strongest in the history of the Atlantic Ocean, based on wind speed.
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DON’T MISS: The 16 most destructive hurricanes in US history
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 – 175 mph
Hurricane Katrina intensified to a Category 5 with winds up to 175 mph in the Gulf of Mexico, before striking Louisiana as a Category 3 storm. Katrina was the third deadliest hurricane in US history, with more than 1,200 deaths. It caused $108 billion in damage, making it costliest hurricane the country has ever seen.
Hurricane Andrew, 1992 – 175 mph
About 25 years ago, the Category 5 Hurricane Andrew ripped through Florida with 175-mph winds, leaving millions without power and many neighborhoods completely destroyed. The response was so problematic that it led to major changes within the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to USA Today.
Hurricane Camille, 1969 – 175 mph
Hurricane Camille formed in the Gulf of Mexico and hit Mississippi as a Category 5 storm. Camille caused more than 256 deaths and is considered one of the most intense hurricane to hit the US based on its pressure, which was measured at 900 millibars. (The more intense a hurricane is, the lower its pressure.)
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Source:: Business Insider