Published On: Tue, May 29th, 2018

Irma’s power equalled 18 hurricane seasons

Hurricane Irma cyclone

PHILIPSBURG – The Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University has predicted a slightly above average hurricane season. Research scientist Phil Klotzbach expects fourteen named storm, of which seven will become hurricanes. Three of these will become major hurricanes with wind speeds of 111 kilometers per hour or higher.

Klotzbach also created a summary of the meteorological facts of Hurricane Irma that hit St. Maarten on September 6, 2017.

Remarkable: Irma generated more Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) than 18 entire Atlantic Hurricane seasons in the satellite era since 1966. Irma also generated more ACE than the eight named storms that preceded it in 2017 – from Arlene to Harley.

Irma was the strongest storm on record to impact the Leeward islands, with maximum winds of 185 miles (297.7 kilometers) per hour. Previous records were held by the Okeechobee Hurricane (1928) and David (1979) with 160 miles (257.5 kilometers) per hour.

Irma’s wind speeds tied with Hurricanes Florida Keys (1935), Gilbert (1988) and Wilma (2005) for the second strongest max winds of all time in the Atlantic hurricane season. In 1980 Hurricane Allen peaked at 190 miles (305.8 kilometers) per hour.

Irma kept up those maximum wind speeds for 37 hours, beating the 24 hours of Haiyan in the Northwest Pacific in 2013.

Irma was the first category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic since Matthew in 2016 and the first in the tropical Atlantic since Hugo in 1989.

Irma lasted 3.25 days and ties with Cuba (1932) for the longest lasting category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Irma had 12.75 named storm days – the most since Nicole (2016). There were also 11.25 hurricane days, the most since Ivan in 2004. The satellite-era record is ginger in 1971 with a whopping 19.5 hurricane days.

Irma also recorded 8.5 major hurricane days – the second most in the satellite era since 1966, trailing only Ivan (2004).