Hurricane Irma has formed over the eastern Atlantic with winds of up to 100 mph, but there is no immediate threat to land.
In its 11 a.m. advisory, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted that the centre of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 33.8 West - some 2975 km east of the Leeward Islands.
Irma is rapidly intensifying over the Eastern Atlantic and is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). This general motion is forecast through early Friday, followed by a generally westward motion on Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts.
Irma is forecast to become a major hurricane by tonight and is expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km).