HOLT, Fla., Sept. 1, 2017–Hurricane Irma is still on track to becoming a major hurricane sometime next week.
However, it’s much too early to determine what direct impacts Irma will have on Florida or other parts of the United States, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Located about 1,400 miles east of the Leeward Islands, Irma is packing sustained winds of 120 mph with little change in the forecast for the next couple of days.
As Irma continues to travel during the next few days, water temperatures along the track will warm significantly, according to the NHC. There could be some higher wind shear; however, not enough to weaken the storm significantly.
Irma has begun a westward turn as forecast earlier. A building mid-level high pressure area should cause the hurricane to turn west-southwestward tomorrow and continue through early next week.
Later on, Irma should reach the southern edge of the high-pressure ridge and begin to move west-northwestward.
Irma is expected to be a major hurricane when it approaches the Lesser Antilles early next week.
Meanwhile, the tropical wave east of Irma is moving westward at 15 mph.
Environmental conditions are expected to become more conducive for development in a few days, and this system could become a tropical depression early next week.
The chance of further formation through the next five days is 60 percent.
Finally, the possible low-pressure system in the southwest Gulf of Mexico failed to organize and is no longer an area of interest for the NHC.