(The Washington Post) The unforgettable thing about record-setting Hurricane Michael will always be how rapidly it became a near-Category 5 storm, perfectly timed for a sneak attack on the Florida Panhandle. On Tuesday morning, Floridians knew a storm was coming but not how strong it would be. As of 5 a.m., Michael was a strong Category 1 hurricane with a minimum pressure of 973 millibars, a measure of atmospheric

pressure indicating that air is rising in the storm, pulling winds toward its center. The official forecast took the storm up to mid-Category 3 at landfall. But 24 hours later, Michael was already far stronger: It now had 140 mph winds and a pressure falling sharply. The wind speed increased 45 mph in just 24 hours, representing a leap from Category 1 to Category 4 — and the storm wasn’t done intensifying. READ MORE