Enough already of these angry storms tearing through the Gulf of Mexico. First there were Katrina, then there was Rita and now we have Wilma. Each one stronger than the one before. Today Wilma was announced to be the strongest Hurricane on record. The pressure of this storm weighs in at 882 mb making it an incredibly strong Category 5 hurricane with "sustained" winds of 175 mph.
For those keeping track, that is some 20 mph faster that Rita hit and Katrina weighed in a little less than that at her peak. The only good news is that it doesn't seem Wilma will make landfall anywhere at this current level of strength and the folks at the National Weather Service are saying she may only be a Category 1 hurricane when she makes landfall in Florida. It's hard to call that lucky, but it is lucky.
I believe it is worth noting that the one big difference this time around, is that Florida is last on Wilma's tour of the Gulf while the last two ladies that danced through the Gulf glided across Florida first... both as Category 1 hurricanes. I'm not sure what deal Florida made with Mother Nature.... but New Orleans should have made the same deal.
This from the Weather Channel:
It's been confirmed: Hurricane Wilma, with a pressure of 882 mb, is the most intense hurricane on record in the Atlantic Basin. Wilma, after undergoing a stunning intensification overnight, is now a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane packing sustained winds of 175 mph. The eye of the violent storm is now following a wobbling WNW track through the western Caribbean with a turn toward the NW expected within the next 24 hours.
Fluctuations in intensity are likely, but Wilma is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane through Thursday. The projected track of the storm takes it through the Yucatan Channel into the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico Friday night. After that, Wilma is expected to come under the influence of westerly winds aloft blowing across the Gulf. That should hurl the hurricane toward the Florida Peninsula, probably the southern part of the peninsula, this weekend. Wilma is expected to be weakening by then, but weakening is a relative term and Wilma may still be a major hurricane (winds over 110 mph) when it makes landfall.
You can get regular updates about Wilma and other Hurricane events from the Weather Channel's Hurricane center. On that site you can get the latest Hurricane news about Wilma and her sisters as well as general hurricane information.