Trop­i­cal storm bursts into be­ing over At­lantic Ocean

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION - @ us­ato­day­weather USA TO­DAY Doyle Rice

For a na­tion reel­ing from the devastation of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, more un­wel­come news came Wed­nes­day: An­other pos­si­ble threat was brew­ing.

Trop­i­cal Storm Irma formed in the cen­tral At­lantic Ocean, the Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter said. It poses no im­me­di­ate threat to land, and it’s too early to know its track.

As of 5 p. m. ET, Irma had 60- mph winds. It was about 2,000 miles east of the Lee­ward Is­lands and about 3,000 miles south­east of Mi­ami. Irma moved to the west at 13 mph. The storm was fore­cast to strengthen into a hur­ri­cane Thurs­day or Fri­day, driv­ing winds of about 75 mph. A trop­i­cal storm be­comes a hur­ri­cane when its sus­tained winds reach 74 mph.

Irma will take about a week to make its trek west across the At­lantic Ocean, Ac­cuWeather said.

WeatherBell me­te­o­rol­o­gist Ryan Maue said Irma will prob­a­bly be­come an in­tense hur­ri­cane of Cat­e­gory 4 or 5 strength, near the Lee­ward Is­lands of the Caribbean.

“It is way too soon to say with cer­tainty where and if this sys­tem will im­pact the U. S.,” Ac­cuWeather hur­ri­cane ex­pert Dan Kot­t­lowski said.

Pos­si­bil­i­ties range from a land­fall on the Lee­ward Is­lands to the Caroli­nas to the is­land na­tion of Ber­muda, he said.

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