Hurricane Irma upgraded to a Category 5 storm

WEST MICHIGAN- In the wake of the disaster in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, we’re turning our attention to the next big storm, which may have an impact on the United States.

While this Hurricane has been churning in the Atlantic for the last several days, it has strengthened rapidly over the last couple of days.  As of 7:45 AM, Irma is now a category 5 storm with 175 mph winds near the center of circulation.  The last few days, this has not been near any land, but within the next 24 hours, will finally impact civilization.

The Saffir-Simpson scale used to measure hurricanes only has 5 categories, and Irma is nearly 20 mph outside of the minimum category 5 criteria.

One of the many ways meteorologists use to forecast the movement of these hurricanes and tropical storms is through the use of computer models.  For these tropical systems, you’ll often see what is referred to as a “spaghetti plot.”  This projects the movement of the center of the storm, and helps provide forecasters an idea of the storm’s general movement.  One of the reasons you don’t see it curving out to see, like many do, is the placement of this high pressure center just east of Bermuda.  Consider this a “block” for all movement, as winds move in clockwise direction around it.  This also could help it move up the eastern seaboard later on as well.

After meteorologists used that “spaghetti” plot, you’ll see a cone shaped like this.  This is the most recent update from the National Hurricane Center.  It projects the potential movement of the center of the storm for a period up to 5 days.  At any point in this “cone,” it could move southwest or northeast.  That’s why everyone in south Florida has begun to prepare for a major hurricane and the possibility that it will make landfall.  There will be updates every 3 hours from the National Hurricane Center, and we’ll keep you posted on the latest from this storm.

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