Sunday 29 March, 2020

Hurricane Irma most powerful ever in Atlantic

In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands.

In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands.

Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 5 storm has winds of up to 185 mph (297 kph) as it approaches the Leeward Islands of the northeast Caribbean.

Four other storms have had winds that strong in the overall Atlantic region, but they have been in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico where the usually warmer waters fuel tropical cyclones.

Hurricane Allen hit 190 mph in 1980, while 2005's Wilma, 1988's Gilbert and a 1935 great Florida Key storm all had 185 mph winds.

Experts say Irma's strength is a result of unusually warm water for that part of the Atlantic.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, parts of the Dominican Republic, parts of Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Southeastern Bahamas.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Guadeloupe and Dominica.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for parts of the Dominican Republic and parts of Haiti.

Interests elsewhere in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as Cuba, the central and northwestern Bahamas, and Florida have been advised to monitor the progress of Irma.

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