OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - If you think that we've been having more intense hurricanes, you're right. And If you go into weather records, you'll find some startling numbers. People may fight over what's causing mega hurricanes, but they cannot argue the numbers because the ability to accurately measure wind speeds is generations old.
Category 5's, with sustained wind speeds of 157 miles or greater, are rare. Hurricane Irma has spent almost all of the last 4 days as a Category 5 hurricane -- the most intense of hurricanes. If it can maintain that status for 72 hours, that's just another two hours, it will be the longest sustained Category 5 in Atlantic history.
Unfortunately Category 5's are getting less and less rare. During the twenty years from the 1960s to 1970s, there were 7 Category fives. In the 80's and 90's, there were 5. But in just 17 years since the year 2000, we the have seen 10 of these raging monsters and we still have more than two years until we have a final number for the most recent two decades.
Whatever the reason, and many scientists attribute it to global warming, this is a trend that spells more major disasters if it keeps up.