Hurricane Irma Just Became the Strongest Hurricane on Record in the Atlantic Basin

The storm is speeding up.

Hurricane Irma, which is barreling toward several Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, has just broken a record. 

Irma is now the strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic basin, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm packs up to 180 mile-per-hour winds (stronger than Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts in 2005) and is forecast to remain a category 4 or 5 hurricane for the next couple of days. On Monday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for his entire state in preparation for a possible landfall there: