TYLER, Texas (KETK) - The Atlantic hurricane season has been active over the last month with six hurricanes, and four of those becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). Only three tropical systems impacted the United States—Cindy and Emily (both tropical storms), and Harvey (major Category 4 hurricane). Now, Florida is bracing for flooding and winds from Irma this weekend.
If Irma makes landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, this will be the first time in over a century that the lower 48 states had two hurricanes at Category 4 strength hit the United States in the same season.
As of midday Thursday, Irma remains a Category 5 storm and has brought heavy rain from Puerto Rico to Dominican Republic and Haiti. This storm is passing north of these countries, but still brought destructing winds and flooding.
Irma will remain a Category 5 storm through the end of the week before decreasing to a Category 4 as it moves between Cuba and the Bahamas. At least a partial landfall is expected Sunday morning over South Florida before moving back off the coast and moving adjacent to Florida. Another landfall is forecasted near the Georgia/South Carolina line by Tuesday.
OTHER TROPICAL SYSTEMS:
This is the first time since 2010 that we have had three active hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin (regardless of their strength). Meet Jose and Katia. These storms nearly align identically with the 2010 storms we had.
Wow! That's pretty darn close. https://t.co/xLctb2ctkO— Brian Alonzo (@wxprobrian) September 7, 2017
As of midday Thursday, Jose is moderate Category 1 hurricane and forecasted to increase into a major hurricane by Friday morning.
Jose will need to be monitored for the middle and late next week. While forecast models are in agreement that it will stay away from the United States in the next several days, there are model hints that Jose could recurve right and move back into the western Atlantic and potentially move over the similar areas that Irma has moved over. This is the first day models have shown this sign, and we will monitor this in the coming days.
Katia (pronounced Ka-Ti-Ah) is a storm in the southern Gulf, west of the Bay of Campeche. This storm will become a Category 2 hurricane before landfall early Saturday morning and weaken into a Tropical Storm by Saturday dayside. Katia not to impact the state of Texas.
A very busy hurricane season, and we still have two solid months left of the season. Forecast tracks in the months of September, October keep the Gulf and Atlantic in a very likely scenario to see more tropical systems. By November, it tapers off as we truly transition into more fall weather in the United States.