Discussion: From earlier this week both the Hurricane Weather Research Forecast (HWRF) and Hurricanes in a Multi-scale Ocean-coupled Non-hydrostatic (HMON) model(s) forecast minimum pressure of Hurricane Michael just offshore the Florida Panhandle to plummet into the 930-940 MB range implying a strong category 4 hurricane. A superb forecast by both of these models.
The current HWRF model indicates a minimum pressure of 935.2 MB early this afternoon just prior to landfall (Fig. 1) while the just-issued HMON forecast is 938.2 MB late this morning (Fig. 2).
At 5AM the observed surface pressure was 937 MB. At 5AM each model was initialized at 943 MB implying an additional 6-8 MB is possible in which case Michael low pressure would sink to 929-930 MB prior to landfall.
A very strong category 4 hurricane at landfall near Panama City, FL is expected.
Fig. 1: The minimum surface pressure for Category 4 Major Hurricane Michael by the Hurricane Weather Research Forecast (HWRF) model is 935.2 MB early this afternoon.
Fig. 2: The minimum surface pressure for Category 4 Major Hurricane Michael by the Hurricanes in a Multi-scale Ocean-coupled Non-hydrostatic model is 938.2 MB late this afternoon.