Irma Rakes VI with Wind, Rain; Jose Is now a Hurricane

Casey Dawson
September 8, 2017

Jose strengthened on Thursday into a risky Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Storms Jose and Katia to hurricanes Wednesday as Hurricane Irma continues cutting a destructive path toward Florida.

There's no immediate threat to land from Jose, but meteorologists warned the storm's path could change, according to the National Hurricane Center.

And finally, Tropical Storm Katia formed in the Gulf of Mexico this morning. The Mexican state of Veracruz is under a hurricane watch.

"Irma is still affecting Puerto Rico and heading toward the Turks and Caicos Islands".

Satellite imagery from NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites showed that Hurricane Katia had not moved much, just about 30 miles in 16 hours.

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During peak hurricane season - right now - it's not at all uncommon to see one, two, or in this case, three tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic. At the time, the center of Katia was about 185 miles (295 km) east of Tampico, Mexico.

Major storms can and do form back-to-back and did so a year ago with Matthew and Nicole, but having more than one hit the a season is rare.

Swells generated by Jose are likely to affect portions of the Leeward Islands by Saturday, the NHC said, adding hurricane watches were issued for the northern portion of the region. Antiguan police were waiting until the winds dropped before sending helicopters to check on damage reports of damage in Barbuda. "Instead, likely impacts from the remnants include 2-4" of rain with locally higher amounts, gusty winds (30-40 mph), and localized flooding.

But he warned "if it stays off the Florida coast as it moves north, this will likely be a major hurricane by the time it makes landfall in either Georgia or SC".

Katia's maximum sustained winds are 75mph (120 km/h), compared with Irma's 185 miles per hour (295 km/h), which makes the latter one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes in history.

NOAA said Hurricane Jose is expected to decrease slightly in forward speed in the next couple of days but is expected to strengthen in wind speed in the next two days.

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