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Hurricane Michael was the most intense, destructive, and costliest tropical cyclone on record. It was part of the record-breaking 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which was the most active on record and included many powerful hurricanes. It was the thirteenth named storm, seventh hurricane, third major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the season.

Michael originated as Tropical Depression Sixteen, which formed over the Cabo Verde Islands late on August 17. On August 19, the depression became a tropical storm over the islands, and was named Michael. As it moved east, Tropical Storm Michael quickly intensified over the unusually warm waters, and became a hurricane just before striking the Lesser Antilles on August 22, dumping enormous amounts of rain and causing flooding. Michael briefly weakened to a tropical storm, but quickly strengthened after emerging into the Atlantic. Shortly after noon on August 24, Michael made landfall near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina as a Category 5 hurricane, causing catastrophic damage. Up to 2 feet of rain fell, and the wind ripped buildings apart. Michael briefly weakened to a Category 4 hurricane after moving over land, but strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane before making landfall near Long Beach, New York during the early morning hours of August 25, causing extremely catastrophic damage. Up to 4 feet of rain fell, and the extreme winds ripped skyscrapers from their foundations. Due to the immense size of the storm, flooding rains extended as far north as Canada and as far west as Michigan. Around noon on August 25, Michael made landfall near New Haven, Connecticut, causing catastrophic damage as it moved across New England. Michael later emerged into the Atlantic as a Category 1 hurricane, but with water warm enough to sustain a hurricane as far north as Nova Scotia, strengthened into a Category 3 before making landfall near Halifax, Nova Scotia early on August 26. It caused catastrophic damage, dumping enormous amounts of rain and heavily damaging buildings with extreme winds. Around noon on August 26, Michael made landfall near St. John's, Newfoundland as a Category 1 hurricane, dumping huge amounts of rain and causing severe flooding. Michael then turned out to sea, and became extratropical on August 30 before making landfall in Scotland as an extratropical storm. On September 2, Michael dissipated over Norway.

Meteorological History

Hurricane Michael began as Tropical Depression Sixteen, which was spawned off the coast of Africa by a tropical wave moving to the west. With unusually warm waters, Sixteen became a tropical storm over the Cabo Verde Islands on August 19, and was named Michael in accordance with the naming list. Michael became only the third tropical storm to affect the islands, and dumped enough rain to cause localized flooding in some areas. Michael strengthened very slowly as it moved across the Atlantic, and became a hurricane just before striking the Lesser Antilles on August 22. Hurricane Michael dumped huge amounts of rain on the islands, causing widespread severe flooding. Michael quickly strengthened over the unusually warm waters of the Caribbean, and made landfall in southern Cuba early on August 23 with Category 3 strength.

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