WRONG KIND OF UPGRADE: Hurricane Irma Is Now A Menacing Category 4 Storm: National Hurricane Center
MIAMI — A “formidable” hurricane that is heading for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico has been upgraded to a menacing Category 4 storm.
Hurricane Irma, which is currently in the mid Atlantic, is expected to bring “life-threatening winds,” according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami.
The storm, which was 716 miles east of St. Croix at 6 p.m. on Monday, has winds of 130 mph and is moving west at 13 mph.
Officials are warning that Irma could dump up to 10 inches of rain, unleash landslides and dangerous flash floods and generate waves of up to seven meters as the storm draws closer.
“Preparations within the warning area should be rushed to completion,” the NHC said.
Irma could directly affect the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands on Wednesday and Puerto Rico on Thursday.
Tropical storm force winds could arrive in these areas by early on Wednesday, forecasters warned.
A Hurricane Watch was issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this morning.
The Bahamas, Antigua and Cuba are also on hurricane watch, while there is an “increasing chance” that parts of the Florida Peninsula could be hit, the NHC said.
2017 VIRGIN ISLANDS FREE PRESS STORM TRACKER: HURRICANE IRMA A CAT 4 STORM