"Hurricane Michael was upgraded to an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm early Wednesday morning by the National Hurricane Center and poised to crash into the Florida Panhandle later in the day with potentially historic force.
At 5 a.m., an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter crew reported top sustained winds up to near 140 mph with higher gusts. Michael’s eye was about 140 miles from Panama City and 130 miles from Apalachicola, but moving relatively fast at 13 mph. Tropical-storm force winds extending 185 miles from the center were already lashing the coast.
Michael is all but certain to become just the fourth major hurricane – Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale – to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle since 1950, joining Eloise (1975), Opal (1995) and Dennis (2005). It may be even stronger before reaching land, the hurricane center said, warning of “additional strengthening” over the next several hours."