Its eye contracted to a diameter of less than 8 miles (13 km), and strong rainbands developed around the entire hurricane.
Due to the small eye, Hurricane Hunters at first had difficulties in determining the strength; however a flight late on August 16 found a strong Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and recorded a very low pressure of 908 mbar (h Pa; 26.82 in Hg), with winds estimated at 175 mph (280 km/h).
There were no subsequent Hurricane Hunter flights, but surface observations recorded later suggested that Camille quickly re-strengthened and regained Category 5 intensity.
After passing very near southeastern Louisiana, Hurricane Camille made landfall early on August 18 in Waveland, Mississippi.
It was located within an area of very light wind shear and an overall warm environment.
Additionally, the storm developed strong low-level inflow from the deep southern Caribbean, which continuously brought moisture into the storm.
Initially, Hurricane Camille was forecast to turn northeastward toward the Florida panhandle.
Instead, it continued northwestward and rapidly intensified once again almost immediately after leaving Cuba.
About 12 hours later, it weakened to tropical depression status, by which time it began a turn to the north and northeast.Despite weakening slightly on August 17, the hurricane quickly re-intensified back to a Category 5 before it made landfall in Waveland, Mississippi early on August 18 with a pressure of 900 mbar (26.58 in Hg).This was the second-lowest pressure recorded for a U. landfall; only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane had a lower pressure at landfall.At the same time, maximum wind speeds in the hurricane peaked at 175 mph (280 km/h) by 00 UTC on August 17.Before they left the storm, the crew recorded a pressure of 919 mbar (h Pa; 27.14 in Hg) and estimated surface winds at 155 mph (250 km/h), while Camille was located about 100 miles (160 km) southeast of the Mississippi River Delta.Camille caused tremendous damage in its wake, and also produced a peak official storm surge of 24 feet (7.3 m).