Just as the nation recovers from Hurricane Harvey, there is another tropical system brewing that has the potential to impact the U.S.
Hurricane Irma is a Category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic with winds of 110 mph. On its present course, it is likely to be 7-10 days before Irma becomes a threat to the U.S., and a lot can happen to the track between now and then.
The National Hurricane Center says that some weakening is possible over the next day or so as Irma moves over marginally warm waters and continuers an eyewall replacement cycle that started today.
“After that time, the environment should be generally conducive for some restrengthening, although forecasting the timing of eyewall replacement cycles is next to impossible,” it said.
Irma is forecast to continue tracking to the west, with an eventually move to a more west-southwestward direction through the weekend.
“During the next 5 days, Irma will continue to move over the open waters of the Atlantic as it approaches the Caribbean Islands by Tuesday,” supply chain risk analysis firm Riskpulse said in a Watchtower Alert. “Although the recent cycle of rapid intensification has ended, Irma will maintain Cat 3 status during the next few days and then likely gain further strength over the Holiday weekend as it traverses over anomalously warm waters (high heat content). This along with highly favorable atmospheric conditions will lead to the potential for further intensification especially late in the Holiday weekend.”
Riskpulse says that Irma could be a Cat 4 hurricane by the middle of next week when it threatens the Caribbean islands.
Related: Hurricane Harvey
“At the moment, impacts to the northeast Caribbean islands looks most likely to take the form of a glancing blow as Irma moves northwestward and is expected to pass to the north of the islands,” the firm said. “Tropical storm force conditions are possible during the middle of next week, especially Wednesday and Thursday. However, the forecast is particularly uncertain at this point and future shifts in the forecast track could result in impacts to the islands being either much greater or much less than currently anticipated.”
While the exact track of Irma remains uncertain, there is little to suggest at this point that will it veer away from the U.S. entirely. For a nation trying to recover from Harvey, attention may soon have to be shifted to Irma.