Hurricane Harvey may be dissipating after making landfall in Texas a week ago, but another storm, Hurricane Irma, is keeping the U.S. on its toes regarding hurricane weather. Fortunately, there is a realistic chance that the storm will not hit the U.S. at all, and even if it does, it won't be nearly as severe as Harvey, which was upgraded to category 4 at its peak. Satellite images of Hurricane Irma, though not as reliable as they will be in the upcoming days, so far show a storm strong enough to merit caution but not panic, at least in the U.S. — the National Hurricane Center expects Irma to be a bigger concern for the Lesser Antilles.
"It is much too early to determine what direct impacts Irma will have on the Bahamas and the continental United States," read an NHC press release. "Regardless, everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place, as we are now near the peak of the season."
Dennis Feltgen, who works as a meteorologist at the NHC, told The New York Times in a phone interview on Friday:
Right now it is more than 2,500 miles away from the U.S. mainland, or at least seven to 10 days away. Everybody breathe. We are O.K.
Irma was a Category 3 hurricane on Friday, but was downgraded to a Category 2 overnight.
View Of The Atlantic
Images show a storm of notable strength in the Atlantic.
If Irma does make landfall on U.S. soil, it is expected to hit the East Coast.
Might Stay In The Water
With several days to go, there's a real possibility Irma will die out at sea.
High Intensification Rate
Given how fast the hurricane was intensifying over the past week, it's no surprise Irma sparked concern.
Was Looking Like A Potential Category 4
Fortunately, the storm has lost some of its strength. It'll hopefully continue to do so.
Got Huge At One Point
Irma's headed toward North America; however, it's still not very clear where this hurricane will end up.
Other Places Were In Greater Danger
So far, Irma has been a bigger threat — and continues to be one — to places outside the U.S.
Regardless of how big of an impact Irma ends up having on the U.S., it's important to take the proper steps of preparedness if you happen to live on the East Coast. For information on how you can do this, check out the NHC's guide.