Hurricane Irma Rapidly Intensifies Far Out In Atlantic Ocean

Irma expected to became 4th hurricane of Atlantic season

Irma Now a Major Hurricane; Too Early to Know Where It Will Go

Irma is now located about 1,135 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean and is passing through south of due west at 15 mph and should move toward the west-southwest in the coming days in a "slightly slower forward speed".

"'Irma could also cause unsafe wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts on some islands, although it is too soon to specify where and when those hazards could occur", it said, warning that residents of the Lesser Antilles should monitor the hurricane's progress.

As of Sunday night, Hurricane Irma continues to progress west across the open Atlantic.

Category three Hurricane Irma has maximum sustained winds near 115 miles per hour with higher gusts. "Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours", the NHC said.

As of 11 p.m Saturday, Irma remains a powerful category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic and it's expected to become even more powerful.

"At the absolute earliest, we could see the effects of Irma on Friday", Maze said.

An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, according to the NOAA.

The NHC track for Irma looks only five days out, but there are other, more speculative forecast models.

Hurricane forecaster Dan Brown cautioned, "Don't infer too much from where the end of the cone is pointed".

It was a tropical storm early Thursday morning.

As we are in the peak of hurricane season, it's no surprise that another system is being watched by the hurricane center.

The possibility of direct impacts from Irma in Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas later this week was also increasing.

Irma is moving through the eastern Atlantic and now poses no threat to land.

Latest News