Hurricane Michael upgraded to a Category 5 upon post-storm analysis

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In addition to Hurricanes Michael and Andrew, the only other Category 5 storms known to have made landfall in the USA are the Labor Day Hurricane that hit the Florida Keys in 1935 and Hurricane Camille, which ravaged the MS coast in 1969.

Only four Category 5 storms have hit the US according to reliable historical records and Hurricane Michael is the country's third strongest land-falling hurricane.

Michael is the strongest hurricane landfall on record in the Florida Panhandle, and only the second known Category 5 landfall on the northern Gulf coast, according to the hurricane center.

In addition to wind speeds, the NHC also studied air pressure, satellite images, Doppler radar velocity and surface winds. Now, scientists believe they underestimated Michael's wrath, reclassifying the wind speeds to be 5 miles per hour higher than initial calculations.

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Friday morning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration retroactively upgraded Hurricane Michael to a category five.

"The 5 knot (5 mph) increase in the estimated maximum sustained wind speed from the operational estimate is small and well within the normal range of uncertainty", NOAA said on its website. S. hurricane since reliable records began in 1900, trailing only the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 (892 mb) and Hurricane Camille of 1969 (900 mb). The once-sleepy town of Mexico Beach, almost leveled after Michael passed over it, became the de facto symbol of the storm's destruction. It brought storm surge flooding elsewhere in Florida, as well as along portions of the North Carolina and Virginia coasts. When accounting for indirect deaths, the death toll in Florida stands at 52, according to local officials. In Mexico Beach, more than three-quarters of the homes were flattened by winds.

You can read the National Hurricane Center's full report on Hurricane Michael here. Michael was blamed for 49 deaths and more than $5.5 billion in damage. Agricultural and forestry losses totaled almost $3.3 billion dollars, with most of the losses in Georgia and Florida.

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