Hurricane Irma has become a fierce storm predicted to reach Category 4 power by next week, according to The Sun Sentinel.
The Sentinel reported that there are seemingly few factors preventing Irma from reaching that level and boasting winds as high as 140 mph.
The National Hurricane Center on Friday said that Irma is a Category 3 storm possessing maximum sustained winds of 115 mph.
Irma is moving toward the northwest at 12 mph, the organization added, and it’s roughly 2,800 miles from south Florida.
Twitter users on Friday voiced alarm over Irma, which is gaining strength amid the peak of this year’s hurricane season.
Currently terrified that Hurricane Irma is gonna come when I'm in labor and then I won't be with Maple.— HK (@hilaryalexis06) September 1, 2017
Forecaster John Cangialosi wrote in an advisory early Friday that shear wind may temporarily weaken Irma but the storm will likely escalate.
“Irma is expected to move into a more favorable thermodynamic environment while remaining in low wind shear conditions, which should allow the hurricane to intensify,” he said.
The Sentinel reported that Irma could achieve Category 4 status by early Wednesday as it nears the northern Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. A high pressure system will direct Irma toward the west and then the west-southwest this weekend, meaning its ultimate path may soon have a clearer focus.
Irma is presently moving through the eastern Atlantic Ocean – roughly 840 miles northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands there – and poses no danger to land.
The Sentinel reported that this time of year is peak hurricane season, so forecasters are watching many storm systems.
Cangialosi added that a tropical wave has recently emerged off the coast of Africa in the far eastern Atlantic. “This system could become a tropical depression early next week while it moves westward at 15 mph over the tropical Atlantic,” he said.
The U.S. is struggling with severe weather damage from Tropical Depression Harvey after it made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane one week ago. At least 39 people had been confirmed dead in relation to Harvey late Thursday after the storm recently began pummeling Texas and Louisiana.