A major new hurricane heading west through the Atlantic Ocean is expected to make landfall next week — and it appears more likely that could happen somewhere on the East Coast.
New data released by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts making up a "spaghetti model" (because the numerous possible paths look like spaghetti strands) shows the majority of possible paths for Irma, including heading toward Connecticut. Most show it taking a northerly path up the East Coast after concluding its westerly trek somewhere in the area of south Florida.
It will take about a week for Irma to make its way west across the Atlantic, and meteorologists will likely be tracking this storm through the middle of September, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
"There is the potential for Irma to ramp up to an even more powerful hurricane this weekend," Kottlowski said. "While fluctuation in strength is likely, we expect Irma to become a Category 4 well before it reaches waters near the Lesser Antilles."
A Category 4 hurricane has sustained winds of 130 to 156 mph.
According to information from the National Hurricane Center on Saturday , Irma is moving west at 15 mph with sustained winds of 110 mph.
Subtle changes in water temperatures and atmospheric conditions, such as slightly drier air and a small patch of strong winds aloft, can cause significant fluctuations in strength in even the strongest of hurricanes.
Nothing is certain as far as Irma's path goes. As the "spaghetti model," shows, it's still possible the hurricane may end its westerly trek in the open water and trek north while still out to sea.
"At this early stage, it is unclear whether a non-tropical storm will draw Irma toward the U.S., push it away or miss affecting it entirely prior to the middle of the month.," Kottlowski said.
Check back with Daily Voice for updates on the storm.
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