Hurricane Irma has become even stronger than the most extreme forecasts were projecting.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Irma had sustained winds of 185 miles per hour at one point on Tuesday. That makes it the strongest Atlantic hurricane in history "outside the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean". I was criticized for suggesting that Irma could become so powerful that it could potentially be labeled a "category 6" storm if such a thing existed. Well, now it has actually happened. If you extrapolate the Saffir-Simpson scale, "category 6" would begin at 158 knots, which would be 181.8 miles per hour. Since Irma has surpassed that mark, I believe that it is entirely reasonable if people want to refer to it as a "category 6" storm.
Of course some meteorologists will get very heated with you when you use the term "category 6" because no such category exists at this point.
But we need some way to describe an Atlantic hurricane with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. "Category 5" simply does not do such a storm justice, and yes, Hurricane Irma is the type of storm that could wipe entire cities off the map if it came ashore at this power.
We don't know where this immensely powerful storm will make landfall in the U.S. yet, but you don't want to be there when it does. I don't want to freak people out, but the truth is that the best thing you can do is to get as far away from this storm as you can.
Just remember what happened in Houston. The people were told not to evacuate, and that turned out to be an absolutely disastrous decision.
This is not just another storm. This is a history making event, and if Irma slams directly into one of our major cities as a category 5 storm, it could potentially make Hurricane Harvey look like a Sunday picnic. The following are some of the key things that you need to know about Hurricane Irma…
#1 According to the Miami Herald, Hurricane Irma had sustained winds of 185 miles per hour on Tuesday afternoon…
Irma continued to explode into a powerful storm Tuesday afternoon, with winds increasing to 185 mph, National Hurricane Center forecasters said in a 2 p.m. advisory.
As the storm continued to track westward, islands in its path raced to complete last minute preparations. The Leeward Islands are expected to get hit with "catastrophic" winds tonight, forecasters said, with the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico slammed tomorrow. In Puerto Rico, the governor asked President Donald Trump to declare a state of emergency, while the electric company warned Irma's fierce winds could leave the island without power for four to six months.
#2 The NOAA is saying that Irma is "the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic — outside the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico."
#3 As mentioned above, if you extrapolate the Saffir-Simpson scale, Irma could be considered a category 6 storm…
While few are willing to admit it yet, according to meteorologist Ryan Maye, Hurricane Irma is still intensifying, with winds up to 155-knots (180 mph) and that extrapolating Saffir-Simpson scale, 158-knots would be Category 6.
Yes, I know that a "category 6" does not exist yet, but perhaps it is about time that scientists got together and updated the scale in light of the dangerous new realities that we are now facing.