MIAMI, Florida, USA (sentinel.ht) – With much attention on Hurricane Harvey and the destruction it left in Texas, many don’t yet see that a storm, already a category 3 hurricane, named Irma, is churning in the Atlantic and could threaten the Caribbean and the United States by early next week.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) August 31, 2017
Irma was designated a tropical storm Wednesday morning, and by Thursday afternoon, it had strengthened into a large Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 115 mph.
Such explosive strengthening is known as “rapid intensification,” defined by the National Hurricane Center as having its wind speed increase at least 30 knots (35 mph) in 24 hours.
“Irma has become an impressive hurricane,” the National Hurricane Center said Thursday, noting the rapid intensification. “This is a remarkable 50 knot (58 mph) increase from yesterday at this time.”
Hurricane Harvey underwent rapid intensification just before it made landfall late last Friday, strengthening quickly from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane when it moved onshore near Corpus Christi, Texas.