Center of the Storm: Simulator Shows What Happens in a Category 5 Hurricane

Researchers hope the hurricane in a box will help them more accurately predict the strength of potentially catastrophic storms.

As Florida and the southeastern coast of America braces for Hurricane Irma, a storm simulator shows just how ferocious a Category 5 storm can be.

Read: Evacuees Trying to Leave Florida Before Hurricane Irma Complain of Outrageous Airfares

Dr. Brian Haus, the director of the SUrge-STructure-Atmosphere Interaction (SUSTAIN) lab at the University of Miami, told Inside Edition in 2015 that the simulator is capable of producing a Category 5 hurricane at the click of a button.

The device is the largest indoor hurricane simulator in the world.

After switching the simulator on, a giant wind turbine and underwater paddles turn the calm water into a huge hurricane. The water barrels through a model town but houses remain standing.

“We're really getting a close-up view of something that nobody's ever really been able to see before, the surface of the ocean in a Category 5 hurricane,” he explained.

Researchers hope the hurricane in a box will help them more accurately predict the strength of potentially catastrophic storms.

Irma has already clobbered the Caribbean and has been dubbed “the most powerful storm in a decade.” Winds clocked at nearly almost 200 miles per hour struck parts of Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Barbuda and Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne has reported that 90 percent of the tiny island has been flattened.

“As it stands, Barbuda is practically uninhabitable,” Browne told Antigua/Barbuda Broadcasting Services Wednesday.

Irma has so far claimed 10 lives, two in Barbuda and eight in St. Martin, according to reports.

Read: How to Escape Your Car if You're Stuck During a Flood or Storm

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency earlier this week and said that the hurricane could bring “life-threatening” damage to the Sunshine State.

Two Florida counties — Monroe County, home of the Florida Keys, and Miami-Dade County — have been ordered to evacuate.

Watch: How to Make an Emergency Survival Kit as Hurricane Irma Inches Closer to U.S.