In the week or so preceding its arrival, the social media had lit up with alarmist headlines that suggested that Hurricane Irma was so huge that it’d led to the creation of an entirely new category of hurricanes.
With continual winds of 185 m.p.h.—28 m.p.h. past the Category 5 threshold—Irma is among the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record. Even so, it’s not a Category 6 hurricane—because such a category doesn’t exist on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which is a 1 to 5 rating, that ranks these storms based on their wind speed.
Just three hurricanes that have formed over the Atlantic have made landfall in the U.S. as a Category 5 since 1924: one in 1935; the other two in 1969 and 1992.
Update: By the time it made landfall in Florida, it’d somewhat mellowed down to a Category 4.