In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many have been praying for relief…and while those in Houston will get a much needed break from the destructive weather which befell them, unfortunately it seems that Florida is in for a big shock.
Meteorologists have been calling this the “storm of the century,” and based off of all available information, this very well might live up to its reputation. The storm has already reached breakneck speeds of 185 miles per hour, which is powerful enough to rip apart buildings and destroy entire cities.
Now, however, it’s surpassing even that. Florida’s governor has already declared a state of emergency and has set conditions out against price-gouging, but many are afraid that even with maximum government intervention, the damage will be catastrophic. Miami Herald reports:
At 2 p.m., Irma was located 180 miles east of Antigua, heading west at 14 mph. While wind speeds could fluctuate over the next day or two, forecasters say it will likely remain a very dangerous Cat 4 or 5 storm as it heads westward. At 185 mph, forecasters said the storm is also the most intense storm ever recorded in the Atlantic outside the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean.
In addition to a state emergency, Scott said he asked President Donald Trump to request a federal emergency in advance of Irma’s arrival and began coordinating rescue efforts that include 13 helicopters and 1,000 high-wheeled truck capable of driving through high water. North Carolina’s National Guard is also on standby to help with evacuations from the Keys, if needed, and the National Guard is lining up an additional 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks and 100 helicopters to be on standby, the governor’s office said in a statement.
The Florida Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation are also on standby to help with evacuation efforts, the statement said.
Silence is Consent previously reported that the record-breaking storm came into the public eye early last week, as meteorologists began to notice some disturbing trends far off in the Atlantic Ocean. Within just a matter of 48 hours, it escalated to a category three hurricane.
Now, it’s a category five hurricane, making it the fastest growing storm in the past two decades. Katrina was only a category three, and the recent Harvey was only a category four, so the destruction that Irma will cause is going to be absolutely unfathomable.
Furthermore, many have suggested that it’s surpassing “category five,” and that the scale we use to measure storms should be expanded to include such “super typhoons,” as Irma. Brian Donegan of Weather.com had the following to say:
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale currently runs from Category 1 through Category 5, and Category 5 is classified as 157-plus mph. But how far above 157 mph could the winds go while still being considered Category 5 wind speeds?
The scientists ran hurricane models within six different global climate models, and the results were mind-boggling.
The results showed that three vulnerable areas of the world are at risk for a “high-end” Category 5 tropical cyclone by the end of the 21st century due to the Earth’s changing climate: Tampa, Florida; Cairns, Australia; and the Persian Gulf.
These potential Category 6 hurricanes may be up to 14 times more likely by 2100, according to the study.
The worst-case potential future hurricane put out by the climate models for the Tampa Bay area is unlike anything ever seen – maximum sustained winds of 233 mph with a minimum central pressure of 830 millibars, traveling parallel along Florida’s Gulf Coast, producing a devastating 36-foot storm surge.
Those wind speeds are comparable to the EF5 tornado that destroyed Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011, except the damage would be along a swath 22 miles wide rather than only a few hundred yards.
While utility companies have been collaborating with the Florida state government, and citizens have been warned ahead of time, there will still likely be those either too ignorant or too foolish to evacuate Florida’s coastlines.
If Hurricane Harvey has taught us anything, it’s that nobody is immune to this type of super storm. If you are elderly or have children, please evacuate immediately. It isn’t worth it to risk your life over a storm that can be easily avoided—you have up to five days before it hits, so on’t say we didn’t warn you.