Threat of Irma comes on heels of Harvey
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, but 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.
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. A Category 4 storm has winds of at least 130 mph.
“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 Bermuda, he said.
Another storm could spin up in the Gulf of Mexico by the weekend and could bring more rain to the Texas and Louisiana coasts.