NHCHurricane Irma: Forecasters warn Irma remains a powerful hurricane as it continues on its journey
Hurricane Harvey flood victims in Houston and other flood-hit areas along the Gulf Coast are alarmed to see that another hurricane is gaining power over the Atlantic.
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) has forecasted that Irma will become a "extremely dangerous" category 4 east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean next week.
Although the storm track shows that Irma is still heading towards the Caribbean, some Americans fear it could turn towards the USA.
At 10am CDT, the hurricane was located about 1,680 miles (2,680km) east from the Leeward Islands as it moves further away from West Africa.
Irma continues to fluctuate in strength but remains a "powerful hurricane" according to an advisory from the National Hurricane Centre.Related articles
The latest update from the NHC said that Irma is forecast to remain a ‘powerful hurricane’ for days.
And the hurricane could even be upgraded to Category 5, after on meteologist said: "Hurricane #Irma regaining strength after going through an eyewall replacement #tropics"
At the time, Irma had maximum sustained winds near 110 mph (175 km/h), just below the 130 mph (209 km/h) threshold for category 4.
In a discussion statement, NHC forecaster Eric Blake said Irma will turn westward later today and then move west-southwestward through the weekend.
He said: “An upper-level low will be dropping southward on the east side of that high, and should be a key feature to how far south Irma goes before eventually turning westward and west-northwestward early next week.”
NHCHurricane Irma path map: Where is the tropical storm NOW? Will it hit the US?
In an earlier statement, NHC Forecaster David Zelinsky has said that there is uncertainty over where Hurricane Irma will go after the weekend.
He said: “For example, the GFS shows a somewhat weaker Irma and a weaker ridge, forcing the hurricane to move slower and make a sharper turn back toward the west-northwest.
He said that a number of weather models, such as the ECMWF, have more southern possible tracks and others, including the Met Office, have more northern ones.
He added: “Since Irma is forecast to be a vertically deep cyclone, it seems more likely to respond to the northerly flow from the upper-level low, which leads me to believe the track will be on the southern side of