How to track the path of Hurricane Irma — which could soon hit the US

An infrared view of Hurricane Irma as a Category 5 storm in the Atlantic Ocean, as seen by a NOAA satellite.

Since Thursday, Hurricane Irma has been gaining strength and is a Category 5 storm as of Tuesday.

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.

The two largest US organizations tracking the storm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s NHC and National Weather Service, are providing live updates on their sites and Twitter.

Using data from drones, satellites, radar, and buoys, these organizations are tracking Irma’s possible path, wind speeds, heat, and rain levels.

Watch as Hurricane #Irma moves towardthe Leeward Islands in this #GOES16 geocolorloop. Get the latest on Irma @

#Irma#GOES16, 2017

Below are some other reputable meteorologists to follow on Twitter who are continually sorting through NHC, NWS, and NOAA data:

Alex Pier, a YouTube user, has also made a playlist of webcams livestreaming several areas where Irma could hit. These may show the storm on the ground level.