Hurricane Irma bolstered Thursday to a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds and is forecast to be a “extremely dangerous” storm to the upcoming several days, according to the National Hurricane Center.
In its 5 p.m. ET advisory, the NHC said the storm was located over the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, about 720 kilometers west of the Cabo Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 12 mph.
“Fluctuations in power, both down and up, are potential, but Irma is anticipated to remain a powerful hurricane for many days,” the advisory read.
Earlier in the day, the weather service said Irma is anticipated to be “an extremely dangerous hurricane for the upcoming several days,” and is forecast to become a category 4 storm east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean by next week.
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Fox News Senior Meterologist Janice Dean said Thursday it’s still too early to tell whether Irma have impacts there by Wednesday or Thursday, or will pass well north of Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles.
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“What we do know is that it’s going to be an exceptionally powerful hurricane, and all interest throughout the Lesser Antilles/Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the U.S — equally Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast — need to track Irma’s path,” Dean explained.
Any impacts to the U.S., if any, would be a full 10 to 11 days off, according to Dean. Once father moves across the Atlantic, at which the storm is moving forecaster ought to get a better idea.
There are no watches or warnings in effect and the storm does not pose a direct threat to property, the hurricane centre said.
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Irma is this year’s ninth named storm, and comes later Harvey devastated Texas with record amounts of rainfall.
Earlier this month, forecasters said the Atlantic hurricane season would be “above-normal,” with 14 to 19 named storms ahead of the peak season.
An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of according to the NOAA.
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