Just How Strong Is Hurricane Irma?

On Wednesday, September 6, the colossal category 5 Hurricane Irma amped up its already stunning winds to 185 miles per hour—the second fastest ever recorded for a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean. We are all fascinated with brutal extremes, it seems. So, below are the records set by the most impressive North Atlantic hurricanes, since meteorologists began to name them more than half a century ago—as well as for storms in the Pacific Ocean, which actually rank number one in many of the categories.

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