[Updating] In tweets: Irma, Jose and Katia now all Atlantic hurricanes

hurricane irma nasa goddard

We just saw the last of Hurricane Harvey, a storm that broke US mainland rainfall records, finally dissipate over the northeastern portion of the US. But hot on its heels is its big, fierce sister, Hurricane Irma.

As of late Tuesday, Irma was a category 5 storm, packing sustained winds in excess of 280km/h. It became the strongest recorded storm to form in the Atlantic Basin, discounting the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It’s currently the fifth strongest in recorded history in the entire Atlantic.

But it doesn’t stop there.

5 September: Irma grows and strengthens

The storm is forecast to strike the Leeward Islands as early as tonight, with Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and possibly Miami in the coming days.

NASA also earlier captured the storm’s eye using its GOES16 satellite.

While Florida is seemingly in its path, prediction models suggest that the storm could also turn into the Gulf, further affecting the likes of Texas and Louisiana.

As for size, Hurricane Irma is about as large as the state of Ohio.

If that isn’t impressive, the ISS captured Irma’s size from space as it flew over the Atlantic earlier today.

But Irma isn’t quite done.

The cyclone may strengthen further, and could top sustained winds in excess of 300km/h later this week, according to meteorologists.

A few thousand kilometres east, there’s another storm forming in the Atlantic Basin too, dubbed Jose.

And yes, as of Tuesday evening, it seems that Irma is getting even stronger.

6 September: Irma strikes Barbuda

Irma has now clattered into Barbuda, with sustained winds in excess of 290km/h. Charts on Twitter paint an impressive picture.

This incredible image shows the storm’s incredibly fierce winds to its north.

Another image shows the storm’s massive eye move over St. Barth.

St. Maarten felt the brunt of the storm’s eyewall earlier. A webcam on the island captured the fury before it was knocked out.

Irma broke another record on Wednesday, becoming the most intense hurricane (in terms of pressure) recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean since the late 1960s.

Around midday Tuesday, Tropical Storm Katia became the third named storm in the Atlantic, currently straddling Mexico’s eastern seaboard.

The intense storm broke yet another record Wednesday, becoming the most intense hurricane in terms of “Accumulated Cyclone Energy generated in a 24-hr period,” meteorologist Philip Klotzbach reports.

The impressive satellite imagery continued to trickle through Wednesday, after the sun rose over the storm.

Late Wednesday evening, both Katia and Jose were upgraded to hurricanes, making it three in total currently spinning in the Atlantic Ocean.

This is a developing story and will be updated regularly. Refresh the page for updates.

Feature image: NOAA/NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

Andy Walker, former editor


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