Irma’s Unprecedented Long Lasting Power

Hurricane Irma Satellite 8 AM
Hurricane Irma Satellite 8 AM

Hurricane Irma has been a category 5 hurricane now for a couple of days. As of 8 AM it has been a category 5 for nearly 50 hours. That is a long time for a storm to maintain that kind of strength. In fact Irma keeps climbing the record book for Atlantic hurricanes to maintain that kind of strength for so long. It is currently 4th on the list. Irma just passed a group of notable hurricanes at it moves towards the top. Camille is now number 8 and the most recent jumps were over Hurricanes David, Mitch, and Isabel. The next hurricane on this list is very familiar to the Gulf Coast. That would be Hurricane Ivan that spent 60 hours as a category 5. Irma is expected to exceed that mark tonight.

If that wasn’t a staggering enough statistic, Irma is also breaking tropical records on a global scale. Irma spent 37 hours with maximum sustained winds at 185 mph. No other tropical system has ever spent that much time with at least that wind speed for longer. That is based on the current satellite era (since 1966). The previous record was super-typhoon Haiyan in the Pacific basin in 2013.

The stats don’t end there. Tropical cyclones (depressions, storms, & hurricanes) use a ton of energy and that might be an understatement. To measure how much a tropical cyclone uses scientists use a term called Accumulated Cyclone Energy. The number one storm on the list is Ivan. Irma is currently sitting at number 9 and is likely to get into the top 5 by tomorrow. There is a chance that it continue to climb from there.

This information is courtesy of Dr. Philip Klotzbach.

For the latest information and track of Irma click here: Hurricane Irma Latest

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