Hurricane Irma Approaches as “Cape Verde Hurricane” and Dangerous Threat This Week

Approaching Hurricane Irma is a classic “Cape Verde hurricane,” defined as a hurricane that forms in the far eastern Atlantic, near the Cape Verde Islands (now known as the Cabo Verde Islands),and tracks all the way across the Atlantic.

Cape Verde tropical storms and hurricanes frequently become the largest and most intense hurricanes. Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Floyd, and Hurricane Ivan were “Cape Verde” hurricanes.

Irma was designated a tropical storm Wednesday morning August 30, 2017 with winds of 115 mph.

Late Monday afternoon, September 4, 2017, Irma’s center was 490 miles (790 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands. Hurricane Irma had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph) and was moving west at 13 mph (20 kph), strengthening to a Category 4 Hurricane.

A hurricane warning has been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and St. Barts. A hurricane watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the British and U.S. Virgin islands and Guadeloupe.

Irma is expected to remain a “dangerous major hurricane” through the week and could directly affect the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas, according to the National Hurricane Center. Residents of the Lesser Antilles were advised to monitor the hurricane’s progress.

The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, declared a state of emergency Monday, September 4, 2017, and activated the National Guard after the National Hurricane Center declared a Hurricane Watch due to the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for every county in the state of Florida as Hurricane Irma moved toward the northeast Caribbean. Hurricane Irma could reach southern Florida by Saturday September 9, 2017.

Emergency officials are warning that Hurricane Irma could amount to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, unleash landslides and dangerous flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet (7 meters).

“Irma is expected to impact the northeastern Leeward Islands by the middle of this week as a major hurricane, accompanied by dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts, along with rough surf and rip currents,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Sunday asked the public to be aware of Irma’s possibly trajectory and the impact the storm could have around noon Wednesday. Puerto Rico is forecast to experience tropical storm winds and 4 to 8 inches of rain.

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