In around the evening hours yesterday, Hurricane Irma strengthened to a Category 3 as it continues to maintain maximum sustained winds near 110 miles per hour. Though authorities located among the Leeward Islands said it poses no threat at this time, they will be watching it closely.
Yesterday at 5AM, Hurricane Irma was recorded to be carrying maximum sustained winds near 115 miles per hour, and moving towards the west northwest at 12 miles per hour. At the recorded time, it was located to be 1,665 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Later at 11AM, another record was taken and it was registered that Irma was closing in even more on the Leeward Island after barely picking up speed. It was then at about 1,580 miles east, moving at 13 miles per hour and continuing in the same direction with its maximum sustained winds slightly reducing to 110 miles per hour.
Intel from the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami shares that they expect Hurricane Irma to turn toward the west by tonight, then head towards the west-southwest tomorrow.
“Fluctuations in strength, up or down, are possible during the next few days, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane throughout the weekend,” the NHC said in both advisories.
Caribbean residents, especially those located in the Leeward Islands, are being advised to keep a close eye on Irma although its path remains uncertain. The Barbados Meteorological Services’ acting directors, Sonia Nurse, told the Nation newspaper that the hurricane was still a long while away and although the models were diverging, they did not bring the center anywhere over the island.
“It would still be to our north east so we will continue to monitor the system. By tomorrow we will have a better idea of where the system is likely to go, but even then it would still be a long way from us,” she said.
We also heard from the director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) over in Antigua and Barbuda, Philmore Mullin, who mimicked Ms. Sonia Nurse’ warning by urging residents to take precaution as though the island will be impacted.
Irma will enter the region sometime early to mid next week.