Meteorologists have been shocked at how rapidly Hurricane Irma has been strengthening, and they are already warning that if it hits the United States as a high-level category 5 storm the devastation would be absolutely unprecedented. Of course, we are already dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and many experts are already telling us that the economic damage done by that storm will easily surpass any other disaster in all of U.S. history. But there is a very real possibility that Hurricane Irma could be even worse. According to the National Hurricane Center, at 5 PM on Friday Irma already had sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. But it is still very early, and as you will see below, next week it is expected to potentially develop into a category 5 storm with winds of 180 miles per hour or more.
I suppose that it is appropriate that such a powerful storm has a very powerful name. In old German, the name “Irma” actually means “war goddess”…
The name Irma is a German baby name. In German the meaning of the name Irma is: Universal, from the Old German ‘irmin’. War goddess.
Irma began forming on Wednesday, and it intensified at a faster rate than any storm that we have seen in nearly 20 years…
Hurricane Irma formed early Wednesdayin the warm waters off the coast of West Africa — and took just 30 hours to strengthen to a Category 3. That’s the fastest intensification rate in almost two decades. By Friday afternoon, the storm had also grown noticeably larger in size with a well-defined eye, a classic sign of a strong hurricane.
Though Irma poses no immediate threat to land, the outlook is ominous: In the Atlantic, Irma is expected to pass through some abnormally warm waters — the primary fuel source for storm systems. The official National Hurricane Center forecast says it will remain at major hurricane status for at least the next five days, and, in a worst-case scenario, Irma could eventually grow into one of the strongest hurricanes ever seen in the Atlantic.
So how powerful could Irma eventually become?