Hurricane Irma strengthens to category 5

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Hurricane Irma, now one of the strongest storms ever in the Atlantic Basin, continues to move west with maximum sustained winds at 185 mph and gusts over 220 mph. Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell discusses the latest projected path of this potentially catastrophic storm.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Hurricane Irma is a Category 5 storm with winds sustained at 185 mph.

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“This is an extremely dangerous storm,” Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini said.

The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Irma is the “strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in NHC records,” according to a tweet.

The storm is moving west and its center is expected to move over part of the Leeward islands tonight or early tomorrow.

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Life threatening surf and rip currents, strong winds and rain will impact those islands.

Hurricane warnings had been issued for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, and Puerto Rico and several other places. This storm is expected to create storm surge four to six feet at the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

>>RELATED: Hurricane Irma is far away, but Floridians are already gearing up

Hurricane force winds extend out 45 miles from the center of Irma and tropical storm force winds 140 miles. A progression west-northwest is expected with countries like the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas where Irma may move toward by the end of the work week.

Southern Florida is also in the forecast cone based on the latest update from the National Hurricane Center. Updates or shifts in the track will be shared as we monitor how Irma progresses through the Caribbean.

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Storm Center 7 meteorologists will keep a close eye on the storm and report the very latest on the WHIO Weather App.

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