PHILIPSBURG:—- Far across the Atlantic, just west of the Cabo Verde Islands, Irma has strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane as of Thursday midday. Irma became a tropical storm at midday on Wednesday.
“There is the potential for Irma to ramp up to a powerful hurricane in the coming days,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
“Irma is likely to become a major hurricane well before it reaches the Lesser Antilles,” Kottlowski said.
Irma will take about a few days for the system to make its trek to westward across the Atlantic Ocean. Meteorologists will likely be tracking this storm through the middle of September.
“All interests in the eastern Caribbean will need to monitor the progress of this evolving and likely dangerous tropical cyclone,” Kottlowski said.
Irma rapidly intensified into a Category 3 hurricane in the eastern Atlantic Thursday.
Irma is now replacing its eyewall, with its intensity likely to fluctuate the next few days.
However, additional strengthening is expected as Irma moves westward in the week ahead.
Irma may approach the Leeward Islands by the middle of next week, though it’s too early to tell how close.
It remains far too soon to speculate on eventual potential U.S. impact.
Hurricane Irma, already a strong hurricane in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, is expected to resume intensifying this weekend and may be a formidably intense hurricane when it nears the Leeward Islands next week.
The center of Irma is located just under 1,600 miles east of the Leeward Islands and is moving west-northwest at 10 to 15 mph.
Irma’s intensification has paused, for the time being, after intensifying from a tropical storm Wednesday to Category 3 hurricane Thursday in just 30 hours.
After strengthening on Thursday, what began as tropical storm Irma is now a Category 3 hurricane, and is expected to remain a powerful storm through the weekend, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.
Irma has maximum sustained winds of 115 miles an hour and is moving west of the Cabo Verde islands. The hurricane is moving in conditions that may allow it to intensify, said the advisory.
“There is the potential for Irma to ramp up to an even more powerful hurricane this weekend,” said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Hurricane Irma is expected to reach Category 4
He is expecting Irma to develop into a Category 4 hurricane before it reaches the Lesser Antilles. For now, there are no land or coastal warnings, and Irma is expected to take about a week to make its way across the Atlantic.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Hurricane Irma a Leeward Islands Threat.