Hurricane Ike was upgraded to an ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4 storm by the National Hurricane Center late Wednesday as the system roared west across the central Atlantic.
The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, issued at 11 p.m. ET, increased Ike’s maximum sustained winds to 135 mph, with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extended 35 miles from the storm’s center of circulation.
The hurricane center’s official forecast puts Ike on a path toward the south Florida coast sometime early next week, though the storm’s path and strength can change without warning.
Other storms in the Atlantic, have become less of a threat. Hanna, once a hurricane, weaked into a tropical storm near the Bahamas, and is foercast to strike the southeastern U.S. as a Category 1 hurricane by the end of the week.
Beyond Ike in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Josephine had winds of 50 mph at 11 p.m., but appeared headed northwest into open seas, where it would weaken in the coming days.
Ike is the fifth hurricane in the Atlantic this season.