Irma Strongest Atlantic Storm Ever Recorded, Making Landfall Today

Hurricane Irma has maximum sustained winds of 175 mph, says NOAA. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Leeward Islands and Irma is also expected to affect Puerto Rico & the British and U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday. Meta Viers/McClatchy

Satellite view of Hurricane Irma’s eye as it ravages through the Atlantic

Satellite view of Hurricane Irma’s eye as it ravages in the Atlantic on Sept. 5, 2017.

NASA SPoRT

Irma could strike a direct blow on the remainder of the Bahamas and Cuba later in the week, they said. The likelihood of Irma hitting the Keys or parts of South Florida is also increasing, however forecasters warned it’s too soon to determine what impacts the region might feel.

At 11 a.m., Irma was located 225 miles east of Antigua, heading west at 14 mph. While wind speeds could fluctuate over the next day or two, forecasters say it will likely remain a very dangerous Cat 4 or 5 storm as it heads westward.

In South Florida, the Keys would be the first region to undergo evacuation orders. Monroe County officials plan to activate their emergency operations center at noon today to begin announcing plans. Evacuations are generally ordered for any storm at Cat 1 strength or higher.

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