Category 5 Hurricane Irma was joined Wednesday by two additional storms forming in the Atlantic basin, Jose and Katia. The three come just a week after record-setting Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on Houston, Tex.
Irma is currently tracking over Puerto Rico, after having passed over Caribbean islands. Latest paths for the storm have it impacting nearly the entire state of Florida, and potentially further up the East Coast into the Carolinas. Irma’s max sustained winds are reaching 185 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center, and the storm is expected to reach Florida on Sunday. It is the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record.
Hurricane Katia is poised to hit eastern Mexico and currently has max sustained winds at 75 mph. The Mexican state of Veracruz has a hurricane watch in effect and the storm is currently about 185 miles North-Northwest of Veracruz. A hurricane watch is typically issued 48 hours before tropical-storm-force winds arrive, and the classification means hurricane conditions could occur in the area. The National Hurricane Center said the storm is expected to drift to the southwest tomorrow, and may strengthen.
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center called Jose a “quickly strengthening” storm, with current max sustained winds at 75 mph. The most updated forecast for the storm does not list any land hazards at this time, but said the Leeward Islands should monitor the storm’s progress. Jose is currently to the east of the island chain.
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The Leeward Islands in the West Indies include the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Antigua and Dominica, among others. That string of islands was slammed by Irma Wednesday and the extent of the damage is not yet clear.