While Texas is still recovering from the catastrophic Hurricane Harvey, another monster storm could be making its way to the United States. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), it is possible that Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida by this weekend. As of now, the storm is headed towards Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.

Warning from the National Weather Service

On Tuesday evening, the NWS posted the following warning on their website:

Hurricane Irma is moving closer to the Caribbean. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the U.S.

Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico early Wednesday, with hurricane conditions arriving later that day. Destructive winds, storm surge, dangerous surf, heavy rainfall and flash flooding are possible. There is an increasing chance of seeing impacts from Irma in parts of Florida later this week.

The storm is currently gaining strength in the Caribbean with winds of over 180 mph. Hurricane Irma has already been called one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever. President Trump has declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Category 5

What does it take for a storm to be considered a Category 5 storm? The National Hurricane Center (NHC) uses five different categories to classify hurricanes.

A category one hurricane has winds between 74 - 95 mph and the winds can cause minor damage to homes and buildings as well as create power outages. A category 2 has wind speeds between 96 - 110 mph and those winds can cause significant property damage, flooding, and power outages.

A category 3 hurricane creates wind speeds between 111 - 130 mph and those high winds often lead to extensive flooding and property damage.

A category 3 hurricane usually calls for evacuation from the area that the storm is coming towards. Category 4 storms have winds ranging from 131 - 155 mph. Category 4 hurricanes can cause significant destruction in homes and buildings and lead to long-term power outages and water shortages.

The most serious and dangerous of all hurricanes are a category 5.

With wind speeds more than 155 mph, category 5 storms usually cause complete destruction of homes and buildings.

While we wait to see where Hurricane Irma ends up, there are still those who need assistance after the havoc that Hurricane Harvey brought about. To find ways to help those individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey, visit www.redcross.org.