Wind speeds of over 185 miles per hour, Hurricane Irma is the most powerful category 5 hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean and it is beginning it’s path of destruction. Just two weeks after Hurricane Harvey, Irma is believed to be much much worse.
Harvey grew into a category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in Texas, with winds of 130 miles per hour. Irma is already a category 5 hurricane currently on a path through the Carribean to Florida.
But what is the difference between a category 4 and a category 5 anyway?
UN Climate Action tweeted this animation, showing the escalation of damage from a category 1 storm up to category 5. Damage from a category five means an area may be uninhabitable for weeks or months afterwards.
Irma’s windspeed is now the second most powerful windspeed ever recorded. Irma has already hit islands in the Carribean such as St. Maarten and St. Bart’s. Storms and coastal flooding have destroyed many homes and buildings already.
Irma is the first category 5 to make landfall on many of these islands since records began, and is now bearing down on Puerto Rico.
Irma is not only a more powerful storm than Harvey, It’s gigantic.
According to the BBC, Irma is currently the size of the state of Ohio.
Irma also could be downgraded to a category four by the time it arrives in Florida, but the scale of damage it wreaks in its path is yet to be seen.
Remember, Harvey was a category four when it directly hit Houston. The storm dumped nearly 52″ inches of rain on Houston, almost 3 feet more rain than Hurricane Katrina!
[The rain was literally off the scales, as the National Weather Service tweets, “So much rain has fallen, we’ve had to update the color charts on our graphics in order to effectively map it.”
While it’s still unclear where Irma will go, forecasters believe it will come very close to hitting Miami by Sunday.
There’s no official evacuation order yet, but some are already taking precautions. If you’ve been hit by the storm, then contact public adjusters to help with claims (more info on the best hurricane insurance adjuster here).
Right behind Irma is Tropical Storm Jose, which is expected to become a hurricane in a matter of days.
What are you doing to stay safe or help those hit by Hurricane Irma? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.