Category 5 Hurricane Irma to threaten lives, property in the northern Caribbean
Life-threatening and catastrophic conditions will continue across the northern Caribbean as Category 5 Hurricane Irma barrels through into Friday.
Irma strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph (295 km/h) on Tuesday, becoming the strongest storm in the Atlantic Basin since Wilma in 2005.
Irma has already proved destructive across the northern Leeward Islands.
The eye of Irma passed over the British Virgin Islands on Wednesday afternoon, devastating the islands and parts of Puerto Rico.
Widespread power outages and significant damage to trees and structures are likely where the eye of the storm passes directly over or makes its closest approach. The power may be out for weeks in some communities.
Rainfall will be heavy enough to trigger flash flooding, mudslides and road washouts.
“Farther to the west, residents and interests on Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas and eastern Cuba should closely monitor the progression of Major Hurricane Irma,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.
A track near or over these locations is becoming increasingly likely towards the end of the week, which would bring life-threatening conditions to residents and any vacationers.
AccuWeather Hurricane Center
Reports: Barbuda left ‘barely habitable’ after Irma pummels northern Caribbean islands
Irma batters Florida with catastrophic storm surge, wind and rain
Flooding rain, damaging winds to batter eastern Mexico as Katia moves inland
Hurricane preparedness checklist
"The projected track still takes Irma just north of Hispaniola on Thursday, and very close to the Turks and Caicos and the southern Bahamas late Thursday and Thursday night," Kottlowski said.
The greatest impacts would be felt Thursday and Thursday night for Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
By Friday, Cuba and the Bahamas could begin to be severely impacted with flooding rainfall and high winds. These areas should prepare for devastating and life-threatening hurricane conditions.
Rough surf will spread outward from the storm, leading to dangerous boating conditions along the north-facing beaches of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola and east-facing beaches of the Turks and Caicos and Bahamas, where a large and devastating storm surge can also occur. Small craft should remain in port until Irma has passed.
Fluctuations in Irma’s strength and track are expected over the next couple of days; however, anyone in the path of the storm should take the storm very seriously.
All interests along the U.S. East Coast should closely monitor the forecast path of Irma this week and review emergency and evacuation procedures in case they need to be implemented.
Behind Irma, Jose formed hundreds of miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands on Tuesday morning. It is expected to strengthen further, after becoming a hurricane on Wednesday afternoon. Jose may enhance showers and surf over the northern Leeward Islands this weekend.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - July 18, 2019, 7:45:39 AM EDT
"I rarely see criticism like this directed toward my male counterparts," she said after sharing the viewer's cringeworthy comment with the public.
Weather News - July 18, 2019, 7:14:20 AM EDT
The southeastern United States will endure drenching and locally damaging thunderstorms erupting daily into the weekend
Weather News - July 17, 2019, 4:05:32 PM EDT
The upcoming hot weather figures to impact cooling costs in much of the U.S.
Weather News - July 17, 2019, 2:50:10 PM EDT
AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures may approach dangerous levels in several cities.
Weather News - July 18, 2019, 2:38:44 AM EDT
Cities have declared heat emergencies as the Northeast is bracing for a record-challenging heat wave. Some places will see triple-digit temperatures for the first time in years.
Tropical Storm Danas to unleash heavy rain on Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands before targeting South Korea, Japan
Weather News - July 18, 2019, 3:35:11 AM EDT
After drenching the Philippines with heavy rainfall from Tuesday into Wednesday, Tropical Storm Danas will now track northward toward Taiwan and Japan's Ryukyu Islands.
Weather News - July 18, 2019, 3:30:22 AM EDT
As heat and high humidity combine with intense July sunshine to make for a brutal heat wave from the central Plains to the Ohio Valley, rounds of severe storms will tear across the northern tier of the central United States into this weekend.
Weather News - July 18, 2019, 2:54:59 AM EDT
Heavy rainfall has triggered deadly flooding and mudslides across parts of Nepal and northern India in recent days, and more rain is on the way.