Hurricane Irma expected to bulk up to Category 4 strength next week

Sept. 1 (UPI) — Hurricane Irma is shaping up as a major hurricane — and will get even stronger next week as it gets nearer to land, forecasters say.

The Category 3 storm’s center is about 840 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, off the African coast, and is moving at 12 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported in its 5 a.m. Friday update.

Hurricane-force winds extend up to 15 miles outward from the center, with tropical storm-force winds extending up to 90 miles outward.

No coastal warnings are currently in effect.

Irma is expected to turn westward on Friday and southwestward on Saturday, remaining a powerful hurricane through the weekend.

Forecasters expect Irma to become a Category 4 hurricane next week, with winds reaching 140 mph. Its exact path, though, is unclear.

Irma became the ninth named Atlantic storm of the season on Wednesday, following Hurricane Harvey.


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