Meanwhile, storms Jose and Katia are also brewing. Both were declared Category 1 hurricanes by the National Hurricane Center on Wednesday afternoon.
At 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, NOAA captured a breathtaking yet horrifying photo of the three storms from space using its GOES-16 satellite:
The storms are all travelling west. You can see Tropical Storm Katia on the left near the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean, and Tropical Storm Jose farther east.
Jose is currently about 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. It’s moving west at about 16 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
Katia is in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and is not projected to move much over the next several days. It may bring 5 to 10 inches of rain to Veracruz, Mexico and up to 15 inches in some areas, according to The Weather Company.
The above images show the scale of Irma, which has had sustained wind speeds of 185 mph for over a day. In Barbuda, an island east of Puerto Rico, winds ripped off the roof of a police station, forcing officers to take shelter in a nearby fire station, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
As of Wednesday evening, the National Hurricane Center is forecasting that the centerline of the Category 5 storm will travel over Miami, then up the east coast of Florida. The hurricane spans about 400 miles — so its large enough to affect the entire state.
Irma’s exact path is still uncertain, but the latest forecasts suggest it will hit South Florida this weekend. Florida Gov. Rick Scott and President Donald Trump have declared a state of emergency for Florida in anticipation of the storm.
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