hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma: One of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storms on record

On Tuesday 5th September, Hurricane Irma grew into one of the Atlantic's most powerful storms. The category 5 hurricane - highest category storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale (a commonly used scale that attempts to measure potential property damage from storm winds) - had wind speeds around 185 mph, matching those of Wilma in 2005 which killed 87 people, costing billions in damage. As it moved through the Caribbean and towards southern Florida, Irma sustained winds of 185 mph for 37 hrs, making it the longest on record any tropical cyclone around the world has maintained this intensity.