8 Hurricane Irma Facts You Need To Know As The Storm Churns Towards The U.S.
As if Hurricane Harvey wasn't enough for the United States to worry about, now Hurricane Irma has stormed up to a record-breaking Category 5 hurricane heading toward the Bahamas while already hitting some parts of the Leeward Islands. So far, everything known about Hurricane Irma is justifiably terrifying for meteorologists and those in the potential pathway of the monstrous hurricane that began forming in the Atlantic Ocean only a few days after Harvey pummeled different counties of Texas with vicious winds and downpour.
Although these storms are part and parcel of the Atlantic hurricane season, Irma has piqued the interest and awe of weather forecasters for its origin, type, and rapid development. Shortly after Harvey displaced thousands in Texas and left neighborhoods and commercial areas submerged in muddy waters, Irma's formation began on Thursday morning as a steady tropical storm but within a single day, the storm intensified into first a Category 2 and then Category 3 hurricane packing winds at 115 mph.
By the time it made landfall in the Caribbean, Irma was carrying winds at an insane and most likely fatal 185 mph, which should be a concern for those in the potential pathway of the hurricane, including southern Florida and the Caribbean. Here are some facts about the terribly powerful Irma that you should know.
1. Irma's Strength Is Undeniable
Hurricane Irma is so strong it's starting to show up on seismometers in the Caribbean -- equipment designed to measure earthquakes. https://t.co/qJrSJ1v8gy— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 5, 2017
According to meteorologist Eric Holthaus, Irma's power is so staggering that it is registering on seismometers, the instrument used to measure the intensity of an earthquake.
2. The Hurricane Crashed The Island of Barbuda
According to the Associated Press, Hurricane Irma destroyed significant parts of the tiny island of Barbuda. The prime minister of Barbuda and Antigua, Gaston Browne, described it as a "horrendous" situation, noting that thousands were homeless as a result of the catastrophic hurricane.
3. Irma Could Hit Mar-A-Lago
One of the noteworthy cites that Irma could potentially target includes Donald Trump's famous golfing resort, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida. So far, it is only a prediction from weather forecasters.
4. State Of Emergency Declared For Florida
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida declared a state of emergency for Floridians in anticipation of the possibly fatal hurricane Irma.
5. Irma Is Followed By Katia & Jose
Irma isn't alone. The monstrous hurricane is joined by two smaller storms, hurricanes Katia and Jose, which are currently moving westward of the Atlantic Ocean.
6. Irma's Eye Isn't The Only Part To Fear
The Weather Channel predicted that the impact of Irma will be felt beyond its center or eye, which is why locals in the face of Irma should be keeping a close tab on all of its developments, not just the central point.
7. State Of Emergency Declared For Puerto Rico
Florida isn't the only place that's under a state of emergency; Puerto Rico, too, declared a state of emergency for its locals.
8. Irma's Development Depends On Warm Water
Perhaps the most important note to remember about Irma is the amount of strength it derives from its position above warm water. Higher altitude winds could help in weakening its strength but currently, meteorologists have noted that the abnormally high heat of the Atlantic Ocean waters is only fortifying the magnitude of Irma.
In other words, all of these facts about Irma point to one clear message: those in the pathway of the incredible hurricane should pay very close attention to its current and possible development.