Information on hurricanes is ever-changing. Here’s what you need to know about Irma as of Thursday morning:
Irma’s next victim: The Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas appear to be next in the storm’s path.
Why is Irma going to turn toward Florida? Blame our cool weather in Southern Illinois. The greater St. Louis area is experiencing chillier than normal temperatures, says meterologist Kevin Deitsch of the National Weather Service, because of an area of upper-level low pressure that is trying to move east. That upper-level move is “part of the reason the hurricane tries to move to the north,” he said.
Hurricanes are steered by winds throughout the atmosphere, which goes from the surface to 60,000 feet, Deitsch said. Hurricanes “tend to top out” at 50,000 or 60,000 feet.
Some Hurricanes, like Opal in 1995, tend to stay on a straight path. Others, like Jeanne and Ivan in 2004, do everything from giant circles to sharp turns once reaching land, like Wilma in 2005.
Any evacuations? Miami residents in two of the city’s five evacuation zones were told to leave on Wednesday evening.
Did a plane really fly into the storm? Yes. Delta Flight 431 landed at San Juan at 12:01 p.m. Wednesday and left as Flight 302 at 12:41 p.m. It carried 173 passengers off the island.
Irma’s last victims: The storm’s eye is bigger than some of the islands that Irma went over — about 60 percent of Barbuda’s 1,400 people are homeless after the storm destroyed most homes. Nearly a million are without power in Puerto Rico. The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were given emergency status earlier this week.
Death toll from Irma: Reports vary, but there were unsubstantiated reports of at least 10 dead from the storm on Thursday morning.
Death toll from Harvey: The latest report from Dallas said at least 70 died from Harvey-related causes, including drowning and deaths during power outages.