RICHMOND, Va, (WTVR) – Hurricane Michael continues to rapidly intensify early Thursday morning, becoming the first major hurricane of this season just before 5 a.m. EDT. It shows a well-defined eye on satellite imagery. It is a compact storm, which has likely been one of the contributing factors to Michael’s rapid intensification. Think of it like an ice skater that pulls his arms in toward the body, becoming smaller in its radial spin, and therefore spinning faster. That is what Michael is doing – spinning small and fast! Other helpful factors for Michael include limited wind shear and ample warm ocean waters for fuel.
Michael is a smaller hurricane than its neighbor to the southwest, Leslie, but it is stronger. Leslie is more ragged on its satellite presentation, without a well-defined eye structure.
Keep up with the latest on both of these storms by utilizing our Interactive Hurricane Tracker HERE.