Hurricane Irma was the longest-lasting powerful hurricane or typhoon ever recorded, worldwide. Despite local panic, it spared Barbuda, St. Martin and Anguilla, all of which had been ravaged by Hurricane Irma. It started on August 30th way out off the coast of Africa and then quickly worked its way across the Atlantic gaining strength.
At sunrise Wednesday, Keys residents faced the devastation left behind by Irma.
In Barbuda the destruction is nearly complete with 95% of the structures destroyed. We have roads that are impassable. And in the American and British Virgin Islands the situation has been described as desperate, with residents saying they are in survival mode.
Of course, forecast models can change; Irma was definitely proof of that, with models originally pointing at a landfall as far north as North Carolina before consistently shifting west to a landfall on the west coast of Florida at Marco Island Sunday afternoon. Chatham County, which includes Savannah, sustained massive flooding due to the storm, a surge of 4.7 feet and a high tide, known locally as a king tide.
Florida Director of Emergency Management Bryan Koon estimated that about 10,000 residents rode it out in the Keys during the storm.
While Jose's trajectory is still uncertain, forecasters say there's at least a chance it could move northwest and hit the Bahamas - and possibly even Florida by next Monday.
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Hurricane Irma brought winds of up to 120mph to the state, which caused the destruction of most of the homes and businesses in Florida.
Irma registered as a major hurricane for 8.5 days, the second most in the satellite era (since 1966), trailing only Ivan in 2004. As it exited on Saturday evening, maximum wind speeds were registered at 145 miles per hour, along with a unsafe storm surge.
Judging from previous studies, the WMO said greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of two to 11 percent by 2100.
On Monday, Sept. 4, Irma's sustained winds were 120 miles per hour.
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