Turbocharged: How Michael got 55 percent stronger in 1 day

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moist air, warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, and ideal wind patterns turbocharged Hurricane Michael in the hours before it smacked Florida’s Panhandle.

Hurricane Michael’s wind speed increased by 50 mph in 24 hours, to 140 mph Wednesday.

University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said the storm is making the “worst fears” of meteorologists come true: rapid intensification just before landfall on an area that has never experienced a storm this size before.

McNoldy said a key factor was that the water was 4 to 5 degrees warmer than normal, giving the hurricane extra fuel. Also, high atmosphere winds that can disrupt a hurricane were quiet, allowing Michael to gather momentum.

Recent studies show that Atlantic storms have been strengthening faster over the past 30 years.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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STORMTRACKER 18 WEATHER
Osseo
48°
Menomonie
Chetek
46°
Durand
50°
Ladysmith
Neillsville
47°
Rice Lake
44°
New Richmond
45°
Black River Falls
48°
Medford
45°
River Falls
50°
Duluth
37°
Green Bay
50°
La Crosse
59°
Madison
53°
Milwaukee
55°
Twin Cities
50°
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