Meteorologist Chesley McNeil explains where hurricanes come from and what drives them toward the U.S. USA TODAY
Hurricane Irma isn’t the only storm that’s roaring in the Atlantic.
Just as monstrous Category 4 Irma takes aim on Florida, with a predicted landfall early Sunday, Hurricane Jose has reached major hurricane status, while Katia is threatening to barrel into Mexico early Saturday.
Jose joined Irma in reaching 150 mph winds Friday, the first time on record the Atlantic has seen two storms that intense at same time.
Over the weekend, Jose could slam into some of the same Caribbean islands flattened by Irma just a few days ago, the National Hurricane Center said.
A hurricane watch has been posted for Antigua and Barbuda, parts of which sustained catastrophic damage from Irma.
Torrential rainfall from Jose could produce “life-threatening flooding” by Saturday across both islands. The British Virgin Islands are also in Jose’s path.
This is the first time in 7 years that three hurricanes have spun in the Atlantic Basin at the same time, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.
As of midday Friday, Jose was located about 380 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands, and had maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.
Storms with winds of 111 mph or higher are classified as major hurricanes.
Meanwhile, hurricane warnings were issued from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde in Mexico as 105-mph Hurricane Katia takes aim on the nation’s east coast.
Rainfall from Katia could “cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain,” the hurricane center warned.
As of midday Friday, Katia was located about 130 miles north of Verracruz, Mexico, and was moving to the west at 5 mph.
The latest track released by the National Hurricane Center has Irma making a direct hit on South Florida. (Sept. 7) AP
It was projected to make landfall early Saturday, the hurricane center said.