GREENSBORO, NC -- Maria's rapid intensification Monday from a Category 1 to a Category 5 within a day was rare, but not unheard of. In the past 12 years, there have been 4 hurricanes, including Maria, that have done the same thing.
With warm water & low wind shear in place, Maria grew from a Category 1 to a 5 in just 15 hours. This was the fastest intensification in the Atlantic since Wilma, which did it in only 12 hours. Hurricane Felix in 2007, intensified from a Category 1 to Category 5 in 24 hours, as did Hurricane Matthew in 2016.