As of Sunday morning, Irma had winds at roughly 115 mph and was roughly 855 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
"Irma has become a hurricane", the NHC said on Thursday, noting the rapid intensification.
There are also several more speculative forecast models out there that could be alarming to coastal US residents. "You could see a bit of fog early Sunday morning, but Sunday's weather is going to be fantastic".
ABC7 WWSB's Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan said models show Irma may grow into "an extremely risky category 4 hurricane".
The hurricane's centre is forecast to reach the Lesser Antilles islands on Tuesday.
Forecasters said Sunday that it was too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental United States.
Feltgen also said that Irma is a useful reminder that we are in the peak of hurricane season, and that as such, people in hurricane prone areas should be prepared, just in case.
Count on the NBC2 First Alert Hurricane Tracking team for the latest on Irma and track its progress with the NBC2 Weather app.
The hurricane center reported that hurricane and tropical storm watches "will likely be required for portions" of the Leeward Islands later today or tonight.
Irma is forecast to move over slightly warmer in the coming days.
The big dome of high pressure over New England is short-lived as it slides out to sea late Saturday evening, clouds slide in ahead of the rain associated with Harvey. Further updates and shifts are a guarantee as we get deeper into the work-week.
Irma was designated a tropical storm Wednesday morning, and by Thursday afternoon, it had strengthened, with winds of 115 miles per hour.