MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Tropical Storm Irma is now a hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph, making it a Category 2 storm.
At 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 31, the center of Hurricane Irma was located 650 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands.
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Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph. Forecasters believe this general motion will continue through early Friday. The storm is expected to travel more westerly on Saturday.
Irma is forecast to become a major hurricane by tonight. It’s expected to be a category 4 hurricane east of the Leeward Islands next week.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles, according to the current advisory.
Hurricane Wind Scale
|1||74-95 mph||Very dangerous winds will produce some damage|
|2||96-110 mph||Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage|
|3 (Major)||111-129 mph||Devastating damage will occur|
|4 (Major)||130-156 mph||Catastrophic damage will occur|
|5 (Major)||157 mph or higher||Catastrophic damage will occur|
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. The scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage.