Hurricane Irma forms in Atlantic, may reach ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4

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As the U.S. continues to struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which is approaching a tropical depression, a rapidly intensifying new storm is brewing.

The National Hurricane Center said Thursday that Tropical Storm Irma is now a Category 2 hurricane with 100-mph winds, and will likely become an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane over the next several days.

The NHC reports Hurricane Irma was located in the Atlantic Ocean about 1,845 east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean as of 11 a.m.

It currently is not threatening to make landfall, but early tracking of storms far out to sea is uncertain. However, AccuWeather says it could reach the islands of Bermuda — and everything in between — sometime over the next week.

According to the Associated Press, meteorologists are worried because the storm will track very close to a latitude and longitude in the tropical Atlantic that historically has proved a turning point for threats to the islands and the U.S. coast.

“A little too close for comfort,” Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach told the AP.

GulfCoastHurricaneCenter.com adds that the hurricane center is also watching another weather system developing in the western Gulf of Mexico that could bring more rain to Texas and Louisiana if it turns into a tropical storm over the next five days.

Tropical Storm Lidia is also bringing winds of 50 mph off the southeast coast of Mexico, leading to tropical storm warnings for much of the Baja as well as the west coast of Mexico. Lidia is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 8 to 12 inches across the Mexican states of Baja California Sur into Baja California and western Jalisco, as well as potential flash floods and mudslides.

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