USA – Hurricane Irma could be next weather disaster

FLORIDA – While much attention remains on Texas and the destruction left by Hurricane Harvey and its historic rainfall, powerful Hurricane Irma is rapidly intensifying in the open Atlantic and poses a major threat to the Caribbean and potentially to the United States next week.

With the storm still five days away from the outermost Caribbean islands and at least a week away from any potential US impacts, there is still a lot of uncertainty about where it will go.

The range of possibilities presented by the forecast models more than a week out literally spreads from Mexico to Canada — and everywhere in between.

Irma was designated a tropical storm Wednesday morning, and by Thursday afternoon, it had strengthened into a large Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 115 mph.

Such explosive strengthening is known as “rapid intensification,” defined by the National Hurricane Center as having its wind speed increase at least 30 knots (35 mph) in 24 hours.

“Irma has become an impressive hurricane,” the National Hurricane Center said Thursday, noting the rapid intensification. “This is a remarkable 50 knot (58 mph) increase from yesterday at this time.”

Hurricane Harvey underwent rapid intensification just before it made landfall late last Friday, strengthening quickly from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane when it moved onshore near Corpus Christi, Texas.

Irma is a classic “Cape Verde hurricane,” a type of hurricane that forms in the far eastern Atlantic, near the Cape Verde Islands (now known as the Cabo Verde Islands), then tracks all the way across the Atlantic. Cape Verde storms frequently become some of the largest and most intense hurricanes. Examples are Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Floyd, and Hurricane Ivan.

Hurricane Irma is forecast to continue to strengthen as it moves westward over the next five days, and the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center puts a dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Irma on the doorstep of the Caribbean by the end of the five-day forecast on Tuesday afternoon.

A strong high-pressure ridge to the north of Irma, over the Atlantic, is steering the storm to the west and limiting the wind shear in the upper levels of the atmosphere, which has allowed the storm to grow so quickly.

Wind shear is like hurricane kryptonite, and prevents storms from forming or gaining strength.

Unfortunately, Irma will remain in a low-shear environment for the next several days, so there isn’t much hope that Irma will weaken any time soon.

There is considerable confidence that Hurricane Irma will track to the west through the weekend and then take a slight jog to the southwest early next week in response “to a building ridge (of high pressure) over the central Atlantic.”

From there, the forecast becomes a lot less clear, with some major differences among some of the key models meteorologists use to forecast hurricanes. The differences are so drastic that one prediction has Irma sliding harmlessly back out to sea, while in another, it makes multiple disastrous landfalls in the Caribbean and likely hits the United States after that.

Irma is still more than 1,700 miles east of the Leeward Islands, and any impacts from the storm wouldn’t be felt until Tuesday or Wednesday for the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico.

The forecast picture should become clearer after the weekend.

Bottom line is Hurricane Irma is already a powerful hurricane and looks to only become more so. Those with interests in the Caribbean and southeast US coast should pay close attention to the forecast.

Source: (CNN)

10 Responses to USA – Hurricane Irma could be next weather disaster

  1. Precious Gem
    Precious Gem September 2, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Dear god let this hurricane die

  2. Marcella King
    Marcella King September 2, 2017 at 2:30 am

    In Jesus name

  3. Ancelle John
    Ancelle John September 2, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Now we want to know God to late

  4. Carol Grant Cumberbatch
    Carol Grant Cumberbatch September 2, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Do we only remember God when situations like these are coming.

  5. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes September 2, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Does not work like that, if not Harvey would have died too.

  6. Rose Worrell
    Rose Worrell September 2, 2017 at 7:00 am

    God never late we live by faith

  7. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes September 2, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Yes most people only want God when things are going bad. I know better, I pray not only for Barbados but for the rest of the Caribbean too. I experienced Hurricane Hugo, the 17th and 18th of September are days I WILL NEVER FORGET. It started the Saturday night and finally left us about 10 am on the Sunday, that time seemed like a week. Harvey, Tomas and Janet cannot compare to Hugo, we got a direct hit. Barbados cannot take that seeing it on TV is one thing actually living it is another story. The physical destruction can be been, you don’t see the emotional and mental one. I thank God for saving my life, had we remained upstairs I would not have been able to tell this tale. Earlier this morning it came to my mind that the activities that went on in that house played a part in us staying safe. You see, the owner of the house us a Pastor, he lived in the US but before he left, he lived upstairs and carried on Church down stairs. That downstairs is what kept us safe and I was able to give shelter to 30 other people for the next 2 weeks. Hugo was headed for Barbados but turned North, so we only got the warning on the 15th and I took it seriously. So Hugo played a big part in my returning to Barbados, when I talk about this I get teary eyed because I know what can happen.


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