Irma strengthens to Category 2 hurricane

(National Weather Service)

Irma is moving west over open waters of the eastern Atlantic and has quickly strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane.

Located approximately 650 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, maximum sustained winds have increased to 100 mph.

Irma will be tracking through through an environment favorable for further intensification. Based on this, Irma should become a major hurricane tonight as it continues to track toward the Leeward Islands.

Impacts to the Leeward Islands can be felt as early as Tuesday next week. All residents and interests in the Lesser Antilles and especially the Leeward and Virgin islands should monitor the progression of this strengthening tropical storm.

The rest of the Atlantic remains relatively quiet. There is some concern that low pressure forming over the western Gulf of Mexico early next week might attempt to become an organized tropical system by around the middle of next week.

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