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Hurricane Michael, Reclassified As A Category 5, Enters Small Club Of Most Destructive Storms

Ryan Dailey

Hurricane Michael devastated Florida’s Panhandle in October as the most powerful storm ever to make landfall in the region. The storm has been reclassified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a category 5.

The reclassification puts Hurricane Michael in a small club of the most devastating hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. Amid intensifying calls from Florida lawmakers for more federal aid to Northwest Florida, the storm is now one of only four category fives America has ever seen.

At its peak strength, meteorologists say the storm reached wind speeds of 160 miles per hour. 

WFSU's Ryan Dailey recently spoke with Mark Wool, a warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA in Tallahassee, about what goes into reclassifying a storm.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.