Hurricane Irma: How Big Is The Storm?

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NOAA’s GOES satellite shows Hurricane Irma passing the eastern end of Cuba on September 8, 2017. Hurricane Irma barreled through the Turks and Caicos Islands as a category 4 storm en route to a destructive encounter with Florida this weekend.

As Hurricane Irma approaches the state of Florida, many are questioning just how big the storm really is. The true size and magnitude of Irma is hard to comprehend and it measures “hundreds of miles across, sweeping over small islands and open water,” The Washington Post reported.

CNN tweeted the difference in size between Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Irma:

Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm to hit in over a decade, was rated as a Category 5 storm when it hit Cuba overnight, though that rating was downgraded to a 3 as of Saturday morning. Floridians have been forewarned that the hurricane is expected to strengthen again as it heads towards the sunshine state.

Intense wind and rain are already ripping through Miami, while water rises around the Florida Keys. Irma is expected to strengthen as it crosses just over 100 miles from the north coastline of Cuba. Winds were recorded at 125 mph as of Saturday afternoon, and the storm was “moving west at 9 mph and is expected to turn north and head up the western coast of Florida, making landfall on Sunday,” according to ABC News.

“This is a life-threatening situation,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Saturday. “Our state has never seen anything like it.”

To illustrate just how big Irma is, Philip Bump of The Washington Post “made a tool that lets you drop Hurricane Irma anywhere in the world to get a sense of size.”

You can click here to use the interactive map to get a better idea of Irma’s size.

Meteorologists at ABC News forecast storm surges of “10 feet in Tampa and Sarasota, and 10 to 15 feet from Fort Myers to Naples,” adding that “somewhat lower storm surges of three to six feet may occur from Miami to Key Largo.