That means parts of the hurricane’s core have sustained wind speeds of at least 175 mph, violent enough to destroy homes and overturn trains. There’s also a risk that Irma’s storm surge – a crest of water formed before a storm by powerful winds – may reach a height of 11 feet above a typical high tide, though storm-surge levels vary by location.
The National Hurricane Center has issued warnings for the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, where Irma could strike as early as Wednesday morning. Some hurricane experts say the US Gulf region and East Coast – from Florida to Maine – should prepare.
Several official weather agencies and experts – some known as hurricane hunters – are tracking the storm.
Using data from drones, satellites, radar, and buoys, these organizations are tracking Irma’s possible path, wind speeds, heat, and rain levels.
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) September5, 2017
Below are some other reputable meteorologists to follow on Twitter who are continually sorting through NHC, NWS, and NOAA data:
- Jeremy Smith, a senior meteorologist at FedEx. Gary Szatkowski, a retired NWS meteorologist. Michael Lowry, a task-force lead with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and host of the podcast “Warm Regards.” Stu Ostro and Rick Knabb, senior meteorologists at The Weather Channel. Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University. Michael Ventrice, a meteorological scientist at The Weather Company and IBM.
— Brian McNoldy (@BMcNoldy) September 5, 2017