The National Hurricane Center’s 4 p.m. advisory for Hurricane Irma shows maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph with higher gusts, making it a category 3 hurricane.
“Irma has become an impressive hurricane with intense eyewall convection surrounding a small eye. Satellite estimates continue to rapidly rise,’ stated NHC Forecaster Eric Blake.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles. The estimated minimum central pressure is 967.
“Fluctuations in strength, both up and down, are possible, but Irma is expected to remain a
powerful hurricane for several days,” stated the update.