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All the records Hurricane Irma has already broken

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 9/9/2017
A man walks among the destruction left by Hurricane Irma at the Phillipsburg Town Beach on September 11, 2017 in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. In photos: Hurricane Irma

(Slideshow by Photo Services)

Hurricane Irma continues to astound and amaze meteorologists with its relentless ferocity.

Several records have already been broken, and Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach has been tracking them all.

Wind

Irma had sustained winds of 185 mph for 37 hours, the longest any tropical cyclone around the world has maintained that intensity. The previous record was 24 hours, during Super Typhoon Haiyan in the northwest Pacific in 2013.

Irma's 185 mph winds were also the highest on record for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean (not counting the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico).

When the entire Atlantic Basin is included, Irma is tied with the Florida Keys / Labor Day hurricane (1935), Gilbert (1988) and Wilma (2005) for second-highest winds on record. Only Hurricane Allen had greater winds of 190 mph in 1980.

At 185 mph, it was the strongest storm on record to impact the Leeward Islands. The Okeechobee Hurricane (1928) and David (1979) were the previous strongest at 160 mph.

It was the closest approach of a Category 5 to the Turks and Caicos on record.

Irma was a Category 5 hurricane for three full days. This ties it with Allen for 2nd-most time as a Category 5, trailing only the 1932 "Cuba" hurricane (3.25 days).

Barometric pressure

Barometric pressure is another way to determine the strength of a storm. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm. It's referred to in inches in the U.S., but other countries and all scientists use millibars, a Metric measurement.

At 915 millibars, Irma has the lowest pressure of an Atlantic hurricane outside of the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on record. 

That mark is also the lowest since Hurricane Dean in 2007 and the 10th-lowest on record since 1966. 

Energy

Accumulated cyclone energy, or ACE, is a way of measuring a hurricane by adding up the wind energy used by a tropical system over its lifetime.

Irma generated the most ACE (44.2 units) by a tropical cyclone on record in the tropical Atlantic and also the most in a 24-hour period on record, breaking the old record set by Allen (1980).

It also generated more ACE than the first eight named storms of this Atlantic hurricane season (Arlene-Harvey) combined.

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