With the coast of Texas still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, now is probably the absolute worst time imaginable for another large hurricane to hit. Of course, since we're well into hurricane season, that's what weather forecasters say might be coming — Hurricane Irma, itself a notably large storm, is traveling westward from the Atlantic Ocean. The storm is still far from reaching land, but already many are concerned about what kind of devastation it might wreak, while the country is still dealing with Harvey. So in order to prepare, it's important to know when Hurricane Irma will hit.
There is some good news in the midst of a scary scenario: Irma is still far out to sea and moving slowly, and it has weakened a little since its top strength at Category 4, down to Category 2. Forecasts are inherently inexact, so we don't know exactly when Hurricane Irma will hit the U.S., where exactly it might make landfall, or for that matter, if it will reach the coast at all.
If it does hit, it will probably come in by the Caribbean and Florida, and is not expected to do so until at least Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. It looks like Caribbean islands like Jamaica and Puerto Rico could be right in the path of the storm though.
Even if Hurricane Irma does hit the southeastern United States hard, luckily, it probably won't hit the same area as Hurricane Harvey — but it could do a large amount of damage to other parts of the country. Experts are warning people in the area to prepare, and to use the long lead time before it hits to prepare now.
After making its way through the Caribbean, the path of Irma is even less certain. Some predictions have it moving north all the way to the Carolinas around Thursday of next week, or perhaps it could fizzle out and not make landfall at all. The range of potential paths of the hurricane could extend all the way from Mexico to Canada, though it seems most likely to hit somewhere along the southern part of the East Coast. Experts say that if you are in the southeastern region of the United States, you should be prepared, just as anyone living in that region should be prepare for extreme weather during hurricane season, beyond the warnings related to this specific storm.
With flooding from Hurricane Harvey still underway, it seems like even the prospect of a second hurricane is nightmarish. Luckily, Hurricane Irma won't hit for a few more days, hopefully giving us enough time to plan for it.