While Texas is still reeling from the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, yet another storm is threatening the southern coast. While Hurricane Irma has yet to make landfall, Puerto Rico is bracing for impact. As of Monday evening, the storm elevated to a Category 4 headed through the Caribbean, with the governors of Puerto Rico and Florida declaring a state of emergency.
According to Puerto Rican governor Richard Rosello, “we have established protocols for the safety of all.” He also explained that 4 to 8 inches of rain was expected, with wind speeds up to 60 mph. It’s currently sustaining winds of 120 mph.
At this point, it is still unknown if Florida and the Carolinas will be hit by the storm, but the National Hurricane Center is urging people to be cautious: “everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place, as we are now near the peak of the season.” If the storm does make landfall in the US, it will hit later in the week.
According to meteorologists, Irma is a prime example of a “Cape Verde hurricane,” which means that it formed in the eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde island before moving its way towards land. Some of the strongest hurricanes in recent history were Cape Verde storms, including Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Floyd, and Hurricane Ivan.