FLORIDA — Despite recently being downgraded to a tropical storm, Hurricane Irma broke several meteorological records as it rampaged through the Caribbean and Florida.
CNBC reports that Irma began as a tropical storm, but quickly strengthened to a hurricane in the middle of the Atlantic. It generated the most accumulated cyclone energy by a tropical cyclone ever recorded — more than 18 entire hurricane seasons since 1966.
Irma clocked in 185 mile-per-hour winds for 37 hours, which is the longest time a tropical cyclone has maintained winds of that intensity.
It was the strongest storm to hit the Leeward Islands, the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the Bahamas since 1992, and Cuba since 1924.
It's also the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.
The hurricane prompted the largest evacuation in the Bahamas, with 5,000 leaving the islands. Some 6.3 million Floridians were also instructed to evacuate.
With Irma and Harvey just days apart, 2017 also marks the first time the U.S. was hit by two category-4 hurricanes in one season. The combined cost of damage brought about by the storms may also be one of country's most expensive.
Hopefully though, the worst is over, especially since experts say September 10 marks the peak of this year's Atlantic hurricane season.