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11 October 2018, 10:12 | Dale Webster
Heavy surf from Hurricane Michael pounds the fishing pier on Okaloosa Island in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA- Remarkably, Category 4 Hurricane Michael continues to grow in strength as it approaches the Florida Panhandle this morning and early afternoon.
"This is really an fantastic event", said Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University. "It had the pedal to the metal all the way until it hit the coast", he said. "As Hurricane Michael nears landfall, we are working with state and local officials in Florida to take all necessary precautions", Trump said Monday. It expected the storm to turn due north tonight, then northeastward on Wednesday.
More than 30,000 workers from at least 24 states have been mobilized to restore power, officials said. Meanwhile 350 Florida Highway Patrol troopers have been dispatched to assist with storm preparations. This was a borderline Category 5 storm, and it's clear the only reason Michael didn't quite cross that threshold was because it was crossing beaches by that time instead. There is evidence of higher sea surface temperature and atmospheric moisture.
Olivia Smith, public information officer for the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners, said there was "one hurricane-related fatality", adding that the incident was "debris-related".
Only three other major hurricanes - Eloise in 1975, Opal in 1995 and Dennis in 2005 - had made landfall in the Florida Panhandle since 1950 before Michael arrived with a fury.
In a recent study in the Journal of Climate, researchers found more rapid intensifications in a simulation of a human-warmed world, and also that this would prove a key pathway toward more intense hurricanes in general.
Trump said later from the rally, "Our thoughts and prayers on behalf of the nation to everyone out there in the path of Hurricane Michael". The warning is issued just prior to when the strongest winds of the eyewall are expected to impact an area.
Even without the scientific calculations, he said, the connection makes intuitive sense. But without extensive study, they can not directly link a single weather event to the changing climate.
Such long-term projections of climate change are, in many ways, more dependable than short-term predictions of weather - which have, of course, improved greatly as well. Modern models predicting warming have been borne out in thousands of studies showing phenomena like rising ocean temperatures and shrinking glaciers. Homes were swallowed in storm surge. Tornadoes, winds and more flooding is possible in the same area still recovering from Hurricane Florence.
By 12 a.m. EDT Thursday, the storm's winds had dropped to tropical storm strength with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour and it was moving northeast at 17 miles per hour. He said he thinks she was home when Michael hit.
Michael plowed inland with powerful winds and storm surge after crashing ashore in Mexico Beach, a quaint low-slung beach town with a population of just 1,200 in one of the most remote corners of Florida.
A pine tree punched a hole in their roof, and Beu's ears popped because of the drop in barometric pressure from the storm.
Authorities are preparing to set up extra shelters and move people into more secure areas.
Still, he said, "the idea that hurricanes are going to stay exactly the same seems far-fetched". "I don't suggest trying to ride out a storm".
"I know it's going to cover everything around here", Sadousky said Tuesday, eyeing water lapping at the edge of a canal behind his home.
He drew an analogy to our wardrobes.
The governor said that 35,000 National Guard troops had been activated to help with recovery efforts and that the state was borrowing 15 helicopters or other aviation assets from other states.
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