Irma remains category 5 as it moves towards Florida

Storm less than 100 miles from Puerto Rico

Chris Miller
September 06, 2017 - 4:46 pm

Hurricane Irma has held on to its 185 mph top wind speed, as it rakes the Virgin Islands on its way towards Puerto Rico, and then likely up the Florida peninsula.

"A high pressure ridge over the western Atlantic is forecast to keep Irma on a west-northwestward course over the next 48 to 72 hours," said Daniel Brown, a Senior Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center. "By the weekend, a shortwave trough diving southward over the east-central United States is expected to cause Irma to turn northwestward and northward."

Atmospheric conditions remain conducive for Irma, and it's passage north of the mountainous regions of Hispaniola and Cuba mean the storm isn't likely to lose much strength.

"Irma is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane and will bring life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to Puerto Rico tonight, the northern coast of Hispaniola Thursday, and the Turks and Caicos and southeastern and central Bahamas Thursday and Friday," said. Brown "Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula on Thursday."

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