Airlines have canceled flights across the Caribbean and are adding planes to evacuate tourists, while cruise-line stocks have tumbled.
A strike on Florida would be the first time since 1964 that the U. was hit by back-to-back storms of Category 3 or more and only the second time since 1851, Henson said.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km).
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“This is something without precedent,” Rossello told a news conference. According to Bloomberg, Irma’s current path - headed straight for Florida - has prompted the state to prepare for the "catastrophic" system.
Unlike Harvey, which caused widespread damage, power outages and flooding and taking almost a fifth of U. oil refining capacity offline, Irma is a bigger threat to agriculture, with orange juice futures surging.
* * * Irma has strengthened to an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said in its advisory at am AST.
According to the Hurricane center, NOAA and Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft data indicate Hurricane Irma has intensified into an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts.
The Irma hits just keep on coming, with the NHC Atlantic Ops twitter page reporting that as of this moment, Irma is now the stronger hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in NHC records.
“Preparations should be rushed to completion in the hurricane warning area,” the NHC said.Irma's maximum sustained winds increased to near 175 mph early Tuesday.According to AP, emergency officials warned that the storm could dump up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, unleash landslides and dangerous flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet (7 meters) as the storm drew closer.Only three Category 5 hurricanes have hit the contiguous 48 U. Andrew was originally classified as a Category 4 storm only to be upgraded years later after further analysis. “We are in rare territory.” * * * While few are willing to admit it yet, according to meteorologist Ryan Maye, Hurricane Irma is still intensifying, with winds up to 155-knots (180 mph) and that extrapolating Saffir-Simpson scale, 158-knots would be Category 6. Now up to 155-knots (180 mph)Extrapolating Saffir-Simpson scale, 158-knots would be Category 6.pic.twitter.com/6o2A6Cp Saq — Ryan Maue (@Ryan Maue) September 5, 2017#Irma has gone from Cat 5 to Cat 5 , winds are now near 180 mph gusting to 220 mph, mvng due west at 14 mphhttps://t.co/Mg9zw Mqff C?Irma is a an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.