September 27, 2020 | News | No Comments
As the northern Caribbean islands brace for impact and evacuations are ordered in south Florida, Hurricane Irma became one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded on Tuesday afternoon with sustained winds of over 185mph and an intensity that was “redefining the rules” of what a storm in this part of the world could be.
“One of the most incredible things I have ever seen on satellite.” —Eric Blake, National Hurricane Center
“Wow,” tweeted meteorologist Eric Holthaus, “Hurricane
# is now expected to *exceed* the theoretical maximum intensity for a storm in its environment. Redefining the rules.”
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The National Hurricance Center, in an afternoon advisory, warned that Irma was a “potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane” that would bring “life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards” to the Leeward Islands beginning on Tuesday night, with Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, the Dominic Republic, and Haiti also in danger in the days ahead. The Florida Keys and southern coastal areas of the mainland, including Miami, could face a direct hit this weekend.
With NOAA providing images of the “monster eye” of the storm taken from space, Eric Blake, a scientist at the National Hurricane Center, remarked that it was “one of the most incredible things I have ever seen on satellite”:
The National Weather Service urged everyone within Irma’s potential path to prepare for an emergency as it provided updates on the “extremely dangerous” Category 5 storm:
According to a mid-afternoon update from the Weather Underground’s Jeff Master:
Subsequent to Master’s analysis, the storm did continue to intensify with its pressure continuing to drop and predictions that sustained winds could reach a jaw-dropping 200mph.
With the city of Houston and other communities along the Gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana just beginning to recover from the damage left by Hurricane Harvey last week, another major storm about to make landfall only serves to highlight the warnings from climate scientists and weather experts that powerful storms, fueled by warmer ocean temperatures, would become more frequent and more dangerous due to the effects of global warming.