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Hurricane Irma forces millions to evacuate

12 September, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured this night-time image of Hurricane Irma over the Leeward Islands on Sept. 6 at 1:35 a.m. EDT. Credits NOAA  NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team

Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Katia are right behind Irma.

Hurricane Katia is relatively stationary, about 200 miles east of Tampico, Mexico as of 11am ET.

Irma and its two siblings, Jose (Category 4), and Katia (now a tropical depression), made Wednesday and Thursday the fourth- and third-most violent dates in the history of ACE Atlantic-basin record-keeping. The image showed powerful bands of thunderstorms around the center of circulation but the storm's eye was not visible. Katia is also starting to move toward the southwest.

For Jose, the government of Antigua has issued a tropical storm warning for Antigua, Barbuda, and Anguilla.

Katia weakened rapidly after hitting the land on Friday night, although Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yunes said the storm had left some 70,000 people without electricity and caused damage in 53 of the Gulf state's 212 municipalities. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Its outer bands began buffetting the coast of Florida on Saturday morning, before the eye of the storm wrought devastation in the state on Sunday. Isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches are possible in northern Veracruz, eastern Hidalgo, Puebla, and San Luis Potosi. This rainfall will continue the risk of life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain.

Katia is moving toward the west-southwest near 3 miles per hour (6 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue until the system makes landfall within the hurricane warning area by early Saturday, Sept. 9.

Will Hurricane Katia hit Texas?

An average Atlantic hurricane season - which runs from June 1 to November 30 - produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The estimated minimum central pressure is 977 millibars.

The space agency's own Kennedy Space Center is predicted to be among the many structures in Irma's path, which the US National Hurricane Center said was now moving over the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba as a Category 5 hurricane.

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