National

How big is Hurricane Irma?

Photo via NOAA

As Hurricane Irma barrels through the Atlantic Ocean, possibly heading for landfall in Florida, many are taking notice of the powerful storm’s sheer size.

Irma, a Category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds at 175 miles per hour as of Thursday morning, is approximately 400 miles wide, according to The Washington Post.

It can be hard to wrap your head around such a long distance, so here are a few things that put the size of the vicious storm, which has already ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, into context.

It completely covers Ohio (and surrounding states)

Hurricane Irma would have no trouble covering the entire state of Ohio, which is 220 miles wide and 220 miles long at its most distant points, according to Netstate.

And the storm wouldn’t just stretch across Ohio — if placed in the middle of the state, it would also cover most of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, as well as the majority of Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina, according to NBC4.

You can line up over 46,000 maximum-length North American school buses from one end to the other

The length of a school bus in North America can’t exceed over 45 feet, according to the National School and Transportation Specifications and Procedures.

There’s 5,280 feet in a mile, and roughly 117 school buses at maximum length could fit within that length. Multiply 117 times 400, and you get over 46,000 school buses front-to-end connecting one side of the storm to the other.

It’s bigger than Hurricane Andrew — but smaller than Katrina

The storm is larger than Hurricane Andrew, which pummeled Florida in 1992, but doesn’t match up to the size of the 2005 storm Hurricane Katrina, according to the Post.

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