Hurricane Wilma Category 5

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Wilma intensified quickly early this morning into the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record.

Floridians are waiting for the monster Category Five storm to make an expected turn toward the peninsula by the weekend.

Hugh Cobb is a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. He says Wilma's top sustained winds reached 175 miles-per-hour this morning in the most rapid strengthening ever recorded in a hurricane. At the same time yesterday, Wilma was only a tropical storm with winds of 70 miles-per-hour.

Its confirmed pressure readings this morning dropped to 884 millibars. The national hurricane center says that's the lowest minimum pressure ever measured in a hurricane in the Atlantic basin.

Forecasters say Wilma was stronger than the devastating Labor Day hurricane that hit the Florida Keys in 1935, the strongest Atlantic hurricane to make landfall on record. But they say Wilma isn't expected to keep its record strength for long as higher disruptive atmospheric winds in the Gulf of Mexico around the hurricane should weaken it before landfall.


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