Katia now third hurricane in tropics; forms in SW Gulf of Mexico


Why are these storms happening now?

"Please allow us to help you seek refuge in shelter, and let people know the priority is to weather the storm (and) seek safe haven", Rossello said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Irma is now tied for the second strongest storm ever in the Atlantic Basin and continues to churn westward in the Atlantic at 15 miles per hour.

There's a remote chance that the storm would even strengthen again, as it passes over the 90-degree-Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) water in the straits of Florida, between Cuba and Florida. And before that, searches for "When is hurricane season over?" peaked around the time of Hurricane Katrina, according to Google trends.

Is this normal for hurricane season?

A hurricane watch is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis and Saba and St. Eustatius, according to the hurricane center. Katia was the 11th of the 2017 season. Meanwhile, Katia is sitting nearly stationary (moving at 3 mph) within the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Veracruz and Tampico.

Jose is behind Irma, further out in the Atlantic Ocean.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Hurricane Irma has strengthened into a Category 4 storm as it approaches the northeast Caribbean.

Is it common for hurricanes to form back to back?

If Irma makes landfall in Florida as a major hurricane, it will be the first such landfall in nearly 12 years.

Category 5 Hurricane Irma's still churning her way through the Caribbean and appears nearly certain for a direct hit on Florida this weekend. There are now 3 active hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, something that hasn't happened in almost 7 years, dating back to September of 2010.

Just past year, the east cost of Florida was threatened by Hurricane Matthew.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, an image was created using visible light data from NOAA's GOES-East satellite imagery at 7:45 a.m. EDT (1145 UTC) on September 9, 2017.

A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.

This is the second time a trio of storms threatens the Atlantic.

Is Irma an unusual storm?

Katia weakened rapidly after hitting the land on Friday night, although Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yunes said the storm had left some 70,000 people without electricity and caused damage in 53 of the Gulf state's 212 municipalities.