Just how big and powerful is Hurricane Irma? According to the National Hurricane Center, it is the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded. As it clears the Caribbean and bears down on the US Southeast, here are some other shocking numbers and facts to keep in mind:
The square mileage of Irma’s tropical storm force winds. That’s larger than the area of Florida, which is 65,000 square miles.
The diameter of those tropical storm force winds, which is about twice as wide as Florida’s peninsula.
185 miles per hour
The top strength of Irma’s maximum sustained winds (though it has since dropped). 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive hurricane to hit Florida, had maximum winds of 175 mph. Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned that Irma was “bigger, faster and stronger” than Andrew, which hit as a Category 5.
More than 40 million people are located inside the 5-day forecast cone.
More than 20 million people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina will be subject to wind gusts over 75 mph.
The number of people evacuated from the Bahamas. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said it is the largest evacuation in the history of the country.