Category 5 Hurricane Irma’s still churning her way through the Caribbean and appears almost certain for a direct hit on Florida this weekend. The storm has cut off the island of Barbuda from outside communication and could (after a late Wednesday landfall) leave Puerto Rico without electricity for 4-6 months. Meanwhile, things aren’t calming down elsewhere in the Atlantic, for as the above graphic (from CSU Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach) and below image (via WAFB in Baton Rouge’s Steve Caparotta) indicate, storms Katia and Jose have now intensified into full-blown hurricanes of their own volition.
This ominous development — three active hurricanes in the Atlantic at the same time — hasn’t occurred since September 2010. And while Irma’s 185 mph hour sustained winds have remained constant for nearly 24 hours, the other two hurricanes have only recently passed the 75 mph threshold to achieve their new designation. CNBC reports that both are now sitting at Category 1 status, and Jose, at least, is expected to intensify as it follows behind Irma on a likely path through the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Katia is sitting almost stationary (moving at 3 mph) within the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Veracruz and Tampico.
We will, of course, continue to bring details on all these storm as they arrive.