The ninth named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season formed Wednesday morning.
Tropical Storm Irma is situated over the far eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean about 420 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm, packing maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour with higher gusts, is moving westerly at 13 miles per hour. Forecasters expect the general motion to continue for the upcoming days and the potential for Irma to become a hurricane by Friday.
The strengthening forecast is due to sea surface temperatures in the track more than 2 degrees above normal, low to moderate wind shear, and a moist surrounding area, according to Weather Underground.
There is no currently no threat to land. By Monday, the National Hurricane Center expects Irma to be a hurricane situated east of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region.
“All interests in the eastern Caribbean will need to monitor the progress of this evolving tropical cyclone, especially next week,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. “It is way too soon to say with certainty where and if this system will impact the U.S.”
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) August 30, 2017
Hurricane season peaks in September, and the vast majority of storms form between August and October, according to NOAA.
FEMA offers the following easy, low-cost steps to be prepare for any potential tropical threat:
Have a family discussion about what you will do, where you will go and how you will communicate with each other when a storm threatens.
Know your evacuation route.
Tune into your local news or download the FEMA app to get alerts.
Listen to local authorities as a storm approaches.