Irma is among the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record based on wind speed.
The major hurricane could notch more historic moments in the days ahead.
Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful hurricanes to roam the Atlantic basin in more than a decade, and it could hit more historical benchmarks in the days ahead.
Here’s a rundown of Irma’s notable extremes so far.
Strongest Winds in Almost 12 Years
Irma’s maximum sustained winds have so far maxed out at 185 mph. Those winds are well above the 157 mph Category 5 threshold and are the highest registered in any Atlantic hurricane since 2005.
Hurricane Wilma on Oct. 19, 2005, was the last hurricane to have maximum sustained winds reach 185 mph.
One of Four Hurricanes With 185+ MPH Winds
The 185 mph winds also place Irma in the upper echelon of Atlantic hurricanes based on wind speed.
Only three other hurricanes have had winds of 185 winds or greater, including Wilma (2005), Gilbert (1988) and Allen (1980), according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a tropical scientist at Colorado State University.
Allen had the strongest winds of those four hurricanes, maxing out at 190 mph in early August 1980.
Longest Duration of 185 Winds Anywhere in the World
Irma’s winds were at 185 mph for 33 hours as of late Wednesday evening. That’s the longest a tropical cyclone has maintained winds at that level or stronger anywhere in the world, according to Klotzbach.
The previous record was Super Typhoon Haiyan (2013) in the northwest Pacific which held winds of that intensity for 24 hours.
Most Powerful Hurricane to Strike the Leeward Islands
Irma’s maximum winds were 185 mph as it raked through the Leeward Islands, including Barbuda, Anguilla and Saint Martin.
Klotzbach says that Irma’s winds are the strongest for any hurricane on record to wallop the Leeward Islands region, beating out the Okeechobee Hurricane (1928) and David (1979). Both of those hurricanes had 160 mph winds at their peak in the Leeward Islands.
Lowest Central Pressure in a Decade
The central pressure observed in Irma dropped to 914 millibars early Wednesday morning, the lowest pressure for any Atlantic hurricane since Dean in August 2007, according to Klotzbach.
Irma’s pressure, however, does not rank among the top 10 lowest in the historical record for the Atlantic.
In general, a lower pressure means a more intense hurricane in terms of its winds and overall destructive potential. Conversely, a higher pressure indicates a weaker system when it comes to wind speeds.
Irma Ranks Among Longest-Lived Category 5 Hurricanes
Hurricane Irma has been a Category 5 for more than 48 hours as of Thursday early morning.
Hurricane Allen (1980) and Hurricane Ivan (2004) hold the record for the longest duration as a Category 5 in the Atlantic at three days total.
Irma now ranks third overall since the reconnaissance era began in 1944 with Category 5 strength lasting two days, according to data from NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division.