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Irma becomes a category three hurricane
Published on September 1, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

hurricane_irma.jpg
Hurricane Irma five-day forecast track. NHC graphic

By Caribbean News Now contributor

MIAMI, USA -- Tropical cyclone Irma strengthened to hurricane force early Thursday morning as the system continued to head towards the Caribbean.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT the centre of Hurricane Irma was located about 720 miles (1,160 km) west of the Cabo Verde Islands and about 1,780 miles (2,865 km) east of the Leeward Islands moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h).

This motion was expected to continue on Thursday, followed by a westward turn on Saturday, and a west-southwestward motion by Sunday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Fluctuations in strength, both up and down, are possible, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane for several days. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km).

tropical_outlook.jpg
Tropical weather outlook. NHC graphic

Meanwhile, a tropical wave along the west coast of Africa is moving westward at about 15 mph. Environmental conditions could become more conducive for some development over the weekend while the system moves well south and southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.
 
Reads: 7759





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