Hurricane Harvey has not even left the Gulf Coast and there is already another devastating storm on the horizon. Hurricane Irma has developed off the coast of Africa and on Thursday rapidly gained strength that made meteorologists sit up and take notice. Now, as we head into the weekend storm trackers have been able to give a possible idea of where this storm is heading and it does not look good.
Hurricane Harvey was an unprecedented storm like nothing we have seen before in recent years. Harvey brought with it not only impressive wind power but catastrophic flooding in the Southeast Texas region. Harvey ended the 12-year-record of no hurricanes over category 3 making landfall in the United States. Now that Harvey has broken the streak, there is already another massive storm being formed in the warm Atlantic Ocean’s waters.
Hurricane Irma is quickly forming and is already a strong Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 100 MPH. This storm is incredibly dangerous considering the track that it is taking across the Atlantic Ocean. Irma is in optimum conditions to strengthen since it is not in any contact with any land masses for quite some time. That means that this storm is able to feed off the untouched warm waters and gather strength instead of weakening. On top of that, there is a strong high-pressure system that is keeping Irma lower instead of pulling it back out into the Atlantic.
What does this all mean?
That this storm could potentially become a major hurricane that could make landfall around September 11.
Here is more from Fox News:
Tropical Storm Irma “rapidly” intensified Thursday, strengthening into a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph sustained winds and is forecast to be an “extremely dangerous” storm for the next several days, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is located over the Atlantic Ocean, about 650 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 10 mph.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) August 31, 2017
Irma is forecast to become a major hurricane, a Category 3 with sustained winds between 111 to 129 mph, by Thursday night.
The National Hurricane Center said Irma is expected to be “an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days,” and is forecast to become a category 4 storm east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean by next week.
Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said Thursday it’s still too early to tell whether Irma will pass well north of the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico, or have direct impacts there by next Wednesday or Thursday.
“What we do know is that it will be an exceptionally strong hurricane, and all interest across the Lesser Antilles/Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the U.S — both Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast — need to monitor Irma’s path,” Dean said.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) August 31, 2017
Any impacts to the U.S., if any, would be a full 10 to 11 days away, according to Dean. Forecaster should have a better idea by next week where the storm is going, once Irma moves father across the Atlantic.
The storm does not pose an immediate threat to land and there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, the hurricane center said.
Irma is the ninth named storm of the year, and comes a week after Harvey devastated Texas with record amounts of rain.
Earlier this month, forecasters said the Atlantic hurricane season would be “above-normal,” with 14 to 19 named storms ahead of the peak season.
An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes, according to the NOAA.
Hurricanes around this time are not rare and actually, this is typically when these sorts of storms begin to form. After a long hot summer the waters are warm and prime for a system like this these ramping up. The peak of hurricane season is in late August and usually peaks in early September.
“Unlike previous systems that came to this route this year, there isn’t much wind shear or dry air in the way of Irma at all,” said Jonathan Erdman, a senior digital meteorologist at Weather.com. “There’s a reason why there’s a peak of the season because the optimal conditions tend to maximize right around the end of August and into September.”
But, if you thought that Irma would be the last of them you would be sorely mistaken.
According to My Palm Beach Post:
The hurricane center also identified another area of concern Wednesday that could cause more grief to Gulf Coast states, including areas of southeastern Texas where Harvey has dumped 52 inches or rain, according to the Weather Prediction Center.
Hurricane forecasters gave the disturbance that could move off the coast of Mexico and into the southwestern Gulf a 20 percent chance of developing over five days. They said it would be slow to organize and that it’s too early to tell how much rain it could bring.
“Whether, or to what extent, it would affect the Harvey-impacted areas is unknown,” Erdman said. “But it’s something we have to watch for the entire Gulf of Mexico.”
If it becomes a named storm, it would be Jose.
This hurricane season is ramping up to be a big one which means anyone on the coast needs to be prepared. Hopefully Irma will be pulled away from the coast and Jose will fizzle out quickly and not cause any more damage.
H/T [ Fox News ]