BY THE NUMBERS: Irma was one of the strongest hurricanes in history


Irma was the longest-lasting and one of strongest Atlantic hurricanes in history. But this wasn’t the only Irma statistic that landed it in the record books.

1.    Hurricane Irma’s sustained wind speed topped out at 185 mph as it approached the Caribbean. Irma is one of only four Atlantic hurricanes to have winds reach that strength. 

2.    Irma maintained its max wind speed for 37 hours. That’s the longest a tropical cyclone has maintained winds at that level or higher anywhere in the world.

Michael Brennan, a specialist with the National Hurricane Center, explained how Irma’s massive wind field brought issues across the entire state. 

“The whole Florida peninsula saw hurricane-force wind gusts and we knew that risk was really there so that’s why we had hurricane watches and warnings up for basically the entire peninsula,” Brennan said.

3.    Irma is the strongest hurricane to hit the leeward islands. 

“Irma had this really intense period of long-lived Category 5 status over the Caribbean. Typically, storms that get that strong either interact with land or there’s some sort of eyewall replacement cycle and they won’t stay strong for that long,” Brennan said.

4.    Irma had the lowest pressure recorded in a decade. Irma’s central pressure dropped to 914 millibars, the lowest since Hurricane Dean in 2007!

5.    Hurricane Irma was the longest-lived Category 5 hurricane. It maintained Cat 5 strength for a remarkable 3.25 days.

Safe to say, we hope to not have to deal with a storm like Irma anytime soon. 

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