Category Five Storm Hurricane Irma Is Expected to Hit South Florida and the Carribbean Islands.
By Alexis Alex
Less than two weeks shy of Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas, Hurricane Irma is expected to hit South Florida as a category five storm. With maximum winds reaching up to 180 miles per hour, Irma is expected to hit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Wednesday and South Florida sometime this weekend. The storm is expected to have “potentially catastrophic” damage in the Caribbean and do worse damage than Hurricane Harvey when it makes land in the US. Florida governor, Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency across Florida and has started evacuating residents, while other residents are bracing for the worst and heavily stocking up on items such as food and water. Governor Rick Scott reported President Donald Trump has "offered the full resources of the federal government as Floridians prepare for Hurricane Irma." Governor Scott has also ordered 7,000 National Guard troops to report for duty by Friday morning.
The reason Irma is expected to be a more intense hurricane is because it is a “Cape Verde Hurricane”, which means it was formed in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, near the Cape Verde Islands, before tracking all the way across the Atlantic. Cape Verde storms frequently become some of the largest and most intense hurricanes because they have enough strength to travel across the Atlantic before making landfall. Past examples include Hurricane Floyd, Hurricane Huge, and Hurricane Ivan.
Although the Trump administration would love to, It is hard to ignore the reality of climate change effects as the US prepares to brace for another devastating storm. Even though it is hard for scientists to connect climate change to individual storms, the evidence of climate change clearly proves why these storms are becoming more catastrophic this season. The connection is logical: hurricanes feed off of warm water, and climate change is making the area where hurricanes feed hotter, therefore we get bigger storms. Additionally, because air is increasingly getting warmer due to pollution, it makes it easier for storms like Hurricane Harvey to dump more rain because warmer air can hold more water vapor. Also, climate change causes rising sea levels so it takes less storm surge to cause dangerous amount of flooding. All of these connections make a logical explanation as to why we are going to see bigger, more dangerous storms this hurricane season. With Hurricane Irma on the horizon and hurricane season lasting until November 30, it is clear we are in for a wild ride this season. Wake up Donald Trump, climate change is real!