HURRICANE Irma could become the world’s most powerful storm with winds of more than 200mph potentially flattening cities, it has surprisingly been claimed.
Hurricane Irma, which has just strengthened to a Category 5 storm with winds in excess of 175mph.
Irma is so powerful that online armchair weather watchers are calling for a new CATEGORY 6 storm level should the hurricane top world record Hurricane Patricia.
Some projections put Irma making landfall around North and South Carolina before heading north to hit New York City.
In 2015 Hurricane Patricia tore through the Cuixmala area of the western Jalisco state, leaving a trail of destruction in its 200mph wake.
One article making the claim for a new Category 6 was shared on Facebook about 2 million times.
But officials remain unconvinced.
Dennis Feltgen, Public Affairs Officer and spokesperson for NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, in Miami, said: “We do not have a Category 6.
“Once you pass that threshold of catastrophic damage you have catastrophic damage.”
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale caps 5 – 157 mph or higher – as the top category for hurricane winds.
This has the strength to blow over buildings and power lines.
He added: “In these days of social media, it doesn’t take much for something totally off the wall or something dramatic to go viral.
“That gets to be a problem because people don’t know who to believe, and when the message is muddled, people can get hurt and we don’t want that.”
However, the claims keep on coming.
One video maker who posts videos under the name of The Bluesman published a film yesterday entitled Hurricane Irma cat 6 on the path to devastating Florida – 40 plus feet storm surge.
He said in the short video: “When it hits the coast, the southern tip of Florida, there is going to be a 40-feet storm surge… there is no doubt about that.
“What happened in Houston you can expect that in Florida so be prepared to get the heck out of there.”