(By Michael Snyder) Hurricane Irma has become even stronger than the most extreme forecasts were projecting.  According to the National Hurricane Center, Irma had sustained winds of 185 miles per hour at one point on Tuesday.  That makes it the strongest Atlantic hurricane in history “outside the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean”.  I was criticized for suggesting that Irma could become so powerful that it could potentially be labeled a “category 6” storm if such a thing existed.  Well, now it has actually happened.  If you

extrapolate the Saffir-Simpson scale, “category 6” would begin at 158 knots, which would be 181.8 miles per hour.  Since Irma has surpassed that mark, I believe that it is entirely reasonable if people want to refer to it as a “category 6” storm. Of course some meteorologists will get very heated with you when you use the term “category 6” because no such category exists at this point. But we need some way to describe an Atlantic hurricane with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour.  “Category 5” simply does not do such a storm justice, and yes, Hurricane Irma is the type of storm that could wipe entire cities off the map if it came ashore at this power. READ MORE