Hurricane Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane and make landfall in the panhandle. If this sounds familiar in October it’s because we’ve been there before with Hurricane Opal back in 1995.

Major October Hurricane

Opal started life in similar area just off the Yucatan, it went across the Yucatan and more of to the west and then it traveled across the Gulf, picking up in intensity, becoming a major hurricane, and then making landfall with winds of 115 mph on October 4th in Pensacola. It had a storm surge of 15 feet and it did massive damage.

A peak wind gust of 145 mph was recorded at Hurlbert Field as it made landfall. Okaloosa island and Fort Walton Beach were devastated by storm surge. Opal caused $4.7 billion in damage making it the third costliest storm at that point. Opal also lead to the deaths of 63 people leading to the retirement of the name Opal.

Hopefully Michael doesn't live up to Opal.

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