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Marking 5 years since Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida

We look back at Hurricane Irma, one of the state's most costly hurricanes.
Credit: NOAA GOES Project via Getty Images
In this NOAA handout image, NOAA's GOES satellite shows Hurricane Irma passing the eastern end of Cuba at about 8:00 am EST on September 8, 2017.

FLORIDA, USA — The summer of 2017 generated some of the costliest and most devastating tropical systems across the Caribbean and the United States. Remember Harvey, Irma and Maria? Those major hurricanes formed all within the same Atlantic hurricane season.

The last week of August 2017 was already a painfully exhausting one as Hurricane Harvey battered and flooded much of the central and southeast Texas coast. But as one storm was leaving its mark, another system was just starting to brew in the central Atlantic. 

A storm that soon became Hurricane Irma.

On Sept. 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma made its first Florida landfall in the Florida Keys a powerful category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. Slight weakening occurred, but Irma still packed a punch as a damaging category 3 hurricane during its second Florida landfall on Marco Island. Winds there were near 115 mph.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

Another reason Sept. 10 is notable is because it's the "statistical peak" of hurricane season. Meaning this is the time in the season when history has averaged the most number of tropical storms and hurricanes. 

A big reason for that is because this is the time of year when all the perfect ingredients are present for optimal tropical development. Features such as: low wind shear and warm ocean temperatures in the tropics. These two main factors combine with the steady flow of tropical waves emerging off the coast of Africa. 

The perfect recipe for tropical development.

We will never see the name Harvey, Irma or Maria be used again for future tropical systems. This is because the name of storms that are particularly devastating and deadly will be retired from the list.

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