Irma a potential threat to the Leeward Islands

Randolph Lopez
September 3, 2017

"Irma is forecast to remain a powerful hurricane for days", the NHC said, adding that strength fluctuations "are possible" over the weekend.

Early Thursday afternoon, Irma become a Category 3 hurricane with winds of up to 115 miles per hour, after undergoing rapid intensification.

It seemed to be moving west at a speed of about 15 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of almost 110 mph.

USA Today reports Hurricane Irma was located in the Atlantic Ocean about 1,845 east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean as of 11 a.m.

While it's still days away from possibly reaching the continental United States, Irma is a powerful hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour and higher gusts. Center forecaster Robbie Berg said in a discussion "while Irma is now a small hurricane, the size guidance suggests it should grow in size during the next 72 hours". Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 miles per hour.

While Irma is now a small hurricane, the size guidance suggests it should grow in size during the next 72 hours.

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Chart with predictions on Hurricane Irma's path. Screen shot of Express' website.

The first major storm of the season, Hurricane Harvey had caused way more chaos than anyone would have imagined.

"At the absolute earliest, we could see the effects of Irma on Friday", Maze said. Based on the current forecast, Irma is expected to produce rough surf and rip currents in the Islands, but may also cause unsafe wind, storm surge and rain impacts, Berg wrote in the discussion.

Any impacts to the USA, if any, would be a full 10 to 11 days away, according to Dean.

Beyond five days, forecasts are very uncertain. Some strengthening is expected as it moves over warmer water; in fact, there are some indications that it could intensify into a strong Category 4 or 5 storm by Wednesday/Thursday.

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