According to Climate Central, a scientific research organization, the coming decades are expected to bring hurricanes that intensify more rapidly, should there be no change in the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.
Supercharged by abnormally warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle with terrifying winds of 155 miles per hour Wednesday, splintering homes and submerging neighborhoods.
Tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect all along the Southeast coast as far north as the Outer Banks, per TWC.
Michael sprang quickly from a weekend tropical depression, going from a Category 2 on Tuesday to a Category 4 by the time it came ashore.
Storm surge could reach up to 14ft in parts of the hurricane zone. "Storm surge can occur before, during, or after the center of a storm passes through an area".
Officials reported at least one storm-related fatality.
Trump was briefed on the hurricane on Wednesday prior to it making landfall and said he would visit the area early next week.
"Going back through records to 1851 we can't find another Cat 4 in this area, so this is unfortunately a historical and incredibly risky and life-threatening situation", he said.
"On the forecast track, the core of Michael will move across central and eastern Georgia this morning, and then over southern and central SC later today". The Carolinas are still reeling from severe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence less than a month ago.
"Hurricane Michael is an unprecedented event and can not be compared to any of our previous events".
The hurricane's peak winds were at 145kmh as it moved north-north west at 19kmh.
Measured by barometric pressure, Michael ranks as the third-most-intense storm on record to make landfall in the USA, according to the National Weather Service.
An estimated 6,000 evacuees took cover in emergency shelters, majority in Florida, and that number was expected to swell to 20,000 across five states by week's end, Kieserman said.
On Friday morning, conditions will dry out, but the winds will pick up, Ricketts said, reaching 35 miles per hour for most of the area and with gusts hitting 50 to 60 miles per hour south and east of D.C.
"Upwards of 8- to 12-foot storm surge is expected, so there could be some significant low-lying flooding in coastal areas", said National Weather Liaison Ken Widelski. "The historical record, going back to 1851, finds no Category 4 hurricane ever hitting the Florida Panhandle".
The National Weather Service office in Tallahassee issued a dramatic appeal for people to comply with evacuation orders.
More than 380,000 homes and businesses were without power at the height of the storm. Wind damage was also evident.