This is shaping up to be a nasty hurricane season. Hurricane Harvey brought devastation to east Texas, and now a new storm is gathering strength and is predicted to hit the U.S. in the next 11 days.
Hurricane Harvey was one of the worst hurricanes to hit the U.S. since Katrina devastated the gulf coast in 2005. Aside from the extreme winds, Harvey brought horrendous flooding to eastern Texas, dropping an incredible 52 inches of rain in some locations.
With Harvey barely in the rear view mirror, Hurricane Irma is forming in the Atlantic, with sustained winds already of 100 mph. As the waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean are still relatively warm, Irma can be expected to increase in strength before hitting the U.S. Hurricane Irma is currently classified as a Category 3 storm, but is expected to increase as she soaks up energy from the warm Atlantic waters. On top of that, a strong high pressure system is forcing Irma on to a path that could collide with the U.S., rather than drifting into the main body of the Atlantic.
The projected landfall of Hurricane Irma is around September 11.
What parts of the U.S. may be devastated is not yet clear. However, the gulf coast is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. This was a storm that was one of the most cataclysmic since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Harvey made landfall in eastern Texas as a Category 3 storm and brought catastrophic flooding.
In fact, Irma is expected to become a Category 4 storm before it hits the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean.
The exact course of the storm is still unknown. Meteorologists state that Irma could pass north of Puerto Rico, or could directly hit that location.
Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said that “What we do know is that it will be an exceptionally strong hurricane, and all interest across the Lesser Antilles/Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the U.S — both Atlantic Coast and Gulf Coast — need to monitor Irma’s path.”
Because the course that Irma will take is yet unknown, there are no hurricane warnings or watches currently.
This year’s hurricane season has been predicted to be strong, with 14-19 named storms. A typical Atlantic hurricane season has 12 named storms.
The strongest hurricanes are generally formed in late August and early September. Warm ocean water and lack of wind shear or dry air provide perfect conditions for strong hurricanes during this time.