October 8, 2018 - Michael Becomes A Hurricane

On Oct. 8, 2018, Michael became a hurricane and reached major status the very next day.

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Michael was the 13th named storm, seventh hurricane and second major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. It originated from an area of low-pressure that formed in the Caribbean Sea, seven days prior.

On Oct. 7 it came to life as a tropical depression, developing into Michael as a hurricane on Oct. 8, near the western tip of Cuba. The storm took full advantage of the warm, favourable Gulf of Mexico waters and reached major hurricane status the next day.

With the Florida panhandle in its crosshairs, Michael hit Category 5 status with peak winds of 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h), just before making landfall near Mexico Beach, Fla., on Oct. 10. It became the first to do so in the region as a Category 5 hurricane and as the strongest storm of the season.

Mexico Beach before and after Hurricane Michael/NOAA

Before and after pictures of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla. Photo: NOAA

Michael caused an estimated US$25.1 billion (2018 figure) in damages and was responsible for at least 74 deaths, including 59 in the United States and 15 in Central America.

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On today's podcast, Chris Mei discusses the birth and lifespan of Michael, its power and the aftermath of the deadly major hurricane.

"This Day In Weather History” is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.