Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Three Hurricanes at once: Irma, Jose and Katia

Credit National Hurricane Center  NOAA Credit National Hurricane Center NOAA
Lillian Steele | 08 September, 2017, 00:55

It is feared the storm may strengthen to a potentially devastating category three hurricane, which can bring winds of up to 129mph.

Just as Hurricane Harvey shook up the US oil and energy industry last week, Irma could produce devastating consequences for agriculture as a significant portion of the country's pork and poultry production lies in the southeastern states. "We went from hurricanes being a non-issue to hurricanes being a daily event". The Category 5 storm also knocked out communication between islands. But meteorologists warn the storm's path could change.

The third most-populous USA state, Florida is where Hurricane Irma is expected to make final landfall, with a large chunk of the state's population of 20 million in the path of the storm.

Hurricane Jose, a Category 1 storm packing winds of about 135 kilometres per hour (85 miles per hour), is approaching the Caribbean hot on the heels of Irma, but will likely bypass land, according to the French weather service.

Jose was about 660 miles (1,060) kilometers east of the Lesser Antilles early Thursday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (165 kph). Jose's projected path is expected to come close to striking Barbuda this weekend. Jose is expected to move westward this week, and may move near or north of the Leeward Islands.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km).

A hurricane watch is in effect from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm is expected to hit Mexico as and when it moves.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite measured at cloud top temperatures in Hurricane Katia's eastern side using infrared light.

Warm water is fuel for hurricanes and Irma was moving over water that was 1.8 degrees warmer than normal. Mexico will experience heavy rainfall and increased risk of flash floods and mudslides, especially in Veracruz and southern parts of the state of Tamaulipas.

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