Hurricane Irma 2017 strengthens back to a Category 3 storm

Hurricane Irma 2017 strengthens back to a Category 3 storm

Hurricane Irma has been rapidly intensified into a Category 3 storm recent days far over the Atlantic, and is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through the weekend.

Forecasters on Thursday morning said the hurricane's maximum sustained winds had increased to almost 100 miles per hours, with higher gusts. Maximum-sustained winds were 110 miles-per-hour in the most recent reading, according to the hurricane center, a slight weakening but still the upper bounds of a Category 2 storm. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 5 days... and Irma is forecast to regain category 3 strength and potentially reach category 4 strength next week.

Irma will take about a week to trek west across the Atlantic Ocean. It is moving west north west at 12 miles per hour.

Hurricane Irma is continuing on its track toward the Lesser Antilles - a string of islands in the Caribbean that includes the U.S. Virgin Island, and Trinidad and Tobago, among others.

Hurricane Irma is approximately 1420 nautical miles from St. Kitts and Nevis.

Stormteam 5 meteorologist Mike Wankum said once we are in a five-day window (Thursday), a concrete trajectory can be made. Beyond day five, a credible forecast on the track and strength of Irma is hard to pin down. It will turn into a risky Category 4 hurricane by the time it hits the Caribbean next week. Based on the current forecast, Irma is expected to produce rough surf and rip currents in the Islands, but may also cause risky wind, storm surge and rain impacts, Berg wrote in the discussion.

For now, however, residents along the East Coast and Gulf Coast should monitor the progress of Irma.

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