Hurricane Irma: After Harvey, US braces itself for another monster storm

Hurricane Irma is gaining pace fast, having already reached Category 3, and is threatening to attack the US and Carribbean, even before the effects of Hurricane Harvey have worn off.

Hurricane Harvey
Picture for representation Reuters

Another tropical storm as big as Hurricane Harvey is approaching US and the Caribbean. Hurricane Irma has been assigned as a Category 3 storm, with a wind speed of about 115mph. It is currently located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,725 miles from the Caribbean's Leeward Islands.

Irma may reach an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 while approaching the Leeward Islands, according to the prediction of the NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC). While the path of the hurricane is still uncertain, scientists are hoping that it will head out to open sea instead of hitting the shore.

"It's too early to know where Irma is headed. This storm could still sneak out to sea", says Michael Ventricle, a Meteorological Scientist at the University of Albany, on Twitter. Although majority of the predicted paths for Irma include the east coast of the US, Canada, and the Caribbean, no warnings have been issued to the public yet. Scientific estimates suggest that the storm is at least a week away from the US.

Ventricle has also said that the intensity of the hurricane is fast increasing and its eye is expanding "with a ring of low brightness temperatures around it." Julian Heming from the Met Office states that Hurricane Irma is expected to head westwards in the next few days. Any impact it has will be on the far north side of the Leeward Islands, according to him.