Hurricane Irma thrashes several smaller Caribbean islands

Credit National Hurricane Center  NOAA

As Florida residents brace for Irma's wrath, two other hurricanes - Jose and Katia - officially formed yesterday.

The hurricane, which formed as a tropical storm on Wednesday, was intensifying in the eastern Atlantic, following behind Irma on a similar path.

The forecast track of Tropical Storm Jose on Sept. 4 2017. Credit National Hurricane Center  NOAA
The forecast track of Tropical Storm Jose on Sept. 4 2017. Credit National Hurricane Center NOAA

Hurricane Jose in the open Atlantic, some 1 000 miles (1 610 km) east of the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles islands, could become a Category 3 and eventually threaten the USA mainland. Katia is now in the Gulf of Mexico and is eventually expected to hit Mexico. Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century and a Category 5, howled past Puerto Rico on Wednesday and is on a collision course with Florida. Jose is expected to move westward this week, and may move near or north of the Leeward Islands.

The National Hurricane Centre in the United States, in its 11 o' clock advisory this morning, stated that Jose was moving towards the west-north-west near 13 miles per hour (mph).

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Irma's core slammed Barbuda early Wednesday before moving over St. Martin and Anguilla and parts of the British Virgin Islands.

"University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy says Irma "could easily be the most costly storm in USA history, which is saying a lot considering what just happened two weeks ago" in Texas".

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Katia is 185 miles (295 km) east of Tampico, Mexico, and has maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kph). A hurricane watch has been issued for the Mexican state of Veracruz by the Mexican government.

If the storm tracks over the beleaguered islands of the northern Lesser Antilles, they could face destructive winds for the second time in four days and up to 10 inches of rainfall.

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