Wilma escalated from a tropical storm to a Category Five hurricane in less than 18 hours to become stronger than any Atlantic storm on record -- including Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast this year. According to Reuters, aircraft crew confirmed the storm's pressure at 882 millibars this morning, the lowest ever observed. (Low pressure corresponds with high winds, a measure of intensity.)
This record-breaking storm also tied a few. The 2005 Atlantic storm season tied a 1933 record for the busiest ever when Tropical Storm Wilma, the 21st named storm of the season, formed over the Caribbean Sea. Wilma is also the 12th hurricane of the season, the same number reached in 1969 (the highest since record-keeping began in the mid-1800's).
And, one more "first ever" is on the horizon: Wilma is at the tail-end of the National Hurricane Center's name list. If more tropical storms form this season, the Greek alphabet (starting with Alpha) will be used for the first time in history.