TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Lee strengthened from a Category 1 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in just 24 hours. As of 5 a.m. Friday, it had maximum sustained winds of 165 mph, but the forecast has it reaching 180 mph winds before it slowly begins to weaken.
This would put Hurricane Lee just behind some of the strongest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic Basin.
The strongest hurricane winds were estimated at 190 mph in Hurricane Allen back in 1980. Several hurricanes have reached 185 mph, including The Labor Day hurricane, Hurricane Gilbert, Hurricane Wilma, and Hurricane Dorian.
The strength of hurricanes can be determined by the maximum wind speed or the lowest central pressure. There are hurricanes that have had lower pressures, but not quite as strong wind.