Michael is so menacing that The Weather Channel just evacuated [Updated]

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Enlarge / Patrons enjoy beverages outside Buster's Beer & Bait, one of the last bars in the area still open, as Hurricane Michael approaches the Florida panhandle, in Panama City Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 09. (credit: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

11:30am ET Update: The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Michael has continued to intensify Wednesday. As of 11:30am ET, the storm had 150 mph winds. Its central pressure also continue to plummet, dropping to 923 millibars and indicating better overall organization. This means that Michael is almost certain to be among the top 10 most intense landfalling U.S. hurricanes, and could soon bypass Hurricane Andrew to enter the top five such storms.

Original post: Hurricane Michael continued to intensify during Tuesday night, bringing an unprecedentedly strong storm to the northwest Florida coast on Wednesday. This is a serious situation for the Florida Panhandle and downstream areas in southeastern Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

As of the National Hurricane Center's 9:30am ET update, Michael had 145mph sustained winds, solidly in the range of a Category-4 major hurricane. Winds along the Florida coast were already rising above tropical storm strength at the time, all but closing the window for further evacuations as the storm nears shore and moves inland later today.

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