For a nation reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, on Wednesday came some unwelcome news: Another possible threat was brewing.
Tropical Storm Irma has formed in the central Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center said. It poses no immediate threat to land, and it’s too early to know its track, forecasters said.
As of 11 a.m. ET, Irma had 50-mph winds. It was located about 2,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands and about 3,000 miles southeast of Miami.
Irma was moving to the west at 13 mph.
The storm is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by the end of the week, with winds estimated at 75 mph. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its sustained winds reach 74 mph.
Irma will take about a week to make its trek west across the Atlantic Ocean, AccuWeather said.
WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue said that Irma will likely become an intense hurricane, with Category 4 or 5 strength, near the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean.
A Category 4 storm has winds of at least 130 mph.
“It is way too soon to say with certainty where and if this system will impact the U.S.,” AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski cautioned
Possibilities range from a landfall on the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean to the Carolinas and the island nation of Bermuda — and everything in between, he said.
Meanwhile, in the eastern Pacific Ocean, a developing system that’s expected to become Tropical Storm Lidia later Wednesday has prompted a hurricane watch for portions of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
This includes Cabo San Lucas.
Tropical storm warnings are also in effect for the Baja as well as the west coast of Mexico.
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