The size and strength of Hurricane Irma is hard to comprehend. It’s a Category 5 storm that’s rolling through the Caribbean now, with the eye nearing Puerto Rico and its apparent destination, the U.S. mainland.
Even just weeks after Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf Coast, Irma is still able to shock. It’s the most powerful storm on record, with a tight eyewall that’s clearly visible from space.
The actual scale of the storm is hard to imagine. It’s hundreds of miles across, sweeping over small islands and open water. To put that size into context, it’s been dropped over the state of Ohio, covering the Buckeye State from Toledo to Steubenville and from Cincinnati to Cleveland.
That may not mean much to you if you’re not terribly familiar with Ohio. So, here. Click on the map to drop Irma wherever you wish. (Live outside the United States? Drag the map.)
Irma image and size as of Wednesday morning.
That’s how big Irma is.
That scale, of course, isn’t the main threat. The threat is instead the rain and, particularly, the wind speed near the hurricane’s eye.
When a storm can comfortably cover most of Alaska and that’s not even the scary thing about it — it’s a storm worth keeping an eye on.