24 Hurricane Irma GIFs Showcase The Storm's Unfathomable Development

Handout/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Hurricane Irma rightly has many worried in the mainland United States, particularly Florida. But its path from the Atlantic Ocean, just west of the African Coast, to its current destructive push through the Caribbean is already worth discussing. It's record-setting. Irma has sustained 185 mile-per-hour winds longer than any other Atlantic hurricane in history, and it made landfall at that strength too. These Hurricane Irma GIFs show that huge, destructive power in visual form.

The images on the ground from some of the worst-hit islands are lacking, given that the storm first hit in the middle of the night. On Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that 90 percent of the island's structures and vehicles were destroyed; at least one person died. On Saint Martin, at least six died on the French-administered half of the island. And in Puerto Rico, where the wall of the storm luckily stayed off the coast of the island, nearly 1 million people had lost power. Many areas are also without water.

The damage is set to continue, as Irma moves toward the Dominican Republic and then the Turks and Caicos islands as well as the Bahamas. Not only will there be the crushing winds that have been seen along Irma's path, but the storm surge will also be formidable, up to 20 feet in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center. To get an idea for how bad the storm can be, consider these GIFs of radar and satellite images. They're truly astounding.

1) This Path Looks Familiar

Beth Carpenter on Twitter

Some of the earliest predictions were pretty accurate. Irma first made landfall as a Category 5 in the Leeward Islands a bit earlier.

2) Back When Category 1 Was A Worry

Vincent Webb on Twitter

The storm started off as a tropical storm off the coast of Africa in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

3) If Only This Model Had Been Correct

Kris Hanson on Twitter

Imagine if Irma had stayed out at sea, not endangering anyone.

4) It Was All Worrying Early On

Josh Johnson on Twitter

This GIF might be a little light-hearted given the damage now seen, but it just shows that some were worried from early on.

5) The Danger Quickly Became Clear

US StormWatch on Twitter

It just took days for it to become clear where Irma would head, and how strong she would get.

6) Even If She Was Technically Still On The Small Side

Brennan Allen on Twitter

No visual eye here. The storm has grown immensely since then.

7) It Jumped From Tropical Storm To Category 2

Nick Merianos on Twitter

It didn't take any time for it to jump up to Category 2.

8) Then It Started To Head West To The Caribbean

Greg Postel on Twitter

It trudged along, gaining power the whole way.

9) Florida Became More Clearly In Irma's Path

Leonardo Fidanza on Twitter

The models started to solidify on Florida getting a direct hit.

10) Talk Of The East Coast Getting Hit Grew Too

Ryan 🦆 on Twitter

Even now, though, it is impossible to know which way it will turn after reaching Florida.

11) Her Strength Grew, Too

Eric Holthaus on Twitter

Irma started to top the charts.

12) Strongest Ever By Some Measures

NHC Atlantic Ops on Twitter

The strongest one still in the Atlantic Ocean ever.

13) The Eye Takes Shape

NASA SPoRT on Twitter

When it moved up to a Category 5 storm, the eye became visible.

14) Sun Over The Eye

NASA SPoRT on Twitter

It's even more pronounced with the light of the sun and its shadow.

15) Big Winds & A Huge Surface

Jim Tang on Twitter

The storm was obviously much bigger than the small islands it would run into first.

16) The Eye Goes Straight Across Islands

Philip Klotzbach on Twitter

Some whole islands appear within the eye.

17) There Are Several Direct Hits

NASA SPoRT on Twitter

But the islands are too small to limit its strength.

18) And Then There Were Three

NASA SPoRT on Twitter

Irma gets little siblings. Jose's following right behind her, while Katia has formed in the Gulf of Mexico.

19) The Winds Break Records

Eric Blake 🌀 on Twitter

They're at 185 miles per hour.

20) Irma Equals All Of 2013

Philip Klotzbach on Twitter

That means this is one powerful storm.

21) Luckily Puerto Rico Misses The Worst Of It

Michael Lowry on Twitter

The eye stays offshore, a lucky state of affairs given how ill-prepared the infrastructure there was.

22) There Will Still Be Damage

Bill Karins on Twitter

It just won't be as catastrophic.

23) Now Add Lightning To The Mix

NASA SPoRT on Twitter

The yellow flashes of the GIF are lightning strikes.

24) And All Of This Data Means

إلاهة on Twitter

Taking a look at the maps and radar of this huge, record-setting storm is definitely humbling. Just make sure that you take the necessary precautions if you'll be somewhere in its path. If you can evacuate now, you just might want to.