Hurricane Irma back as Category 3

Monday, 04 Sep, 2017

Irma rapidly intensified Thursday, becoming a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which classifies as a major hurricane.

Hurricane Irma is approximately 1420 nautical miles from St. Kitts and Nevis.

Hurricane Irma stands as a category 3 hurricane this morning with maximum sustained winds around 115 miles per hour.

Forecast models show it approaching the Bahamas before turning north or northwest, and how hard it turns will determine what part of the US could be at risk, Ward said.

September is generally the peak month of hurricane season, so far the Atlantic season has seen nine named storms and four hurricanes, with Harvey and Irma as the season's two major hurricanes.

The storm is expected to maintain its intensity over the coming days as it moves west with some fluctuations, says INSMET. On Sunday, Hurricane warnings were issued for parts of the Leeward Islands.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that Irma, packing winds of 115 miles per hour (mph) "is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through the weekend".

It's too soon to know if Irma will pose a serious threat to the United Sates, Feltgen added.

The hurricane is packing winds of 175 kilometres (110 miles) per hour and is moving west at a speed of 13 miles per hour.

There are some long-range global forecast models that take this storm well into the western Atlantic by the middle of next week - close to Puerto Rico - while other models show a more northward turn.

"It is much too early to determine what direct impacts Irma will have on the Bahamas and the continental United States", Berg said. The path then moves the storm toward the Turks and Caicos Islands Thursday night and possibly into the Bahamas by Friday.