Hurricane Irma hits Caribbean island of Barbuda

Irma is now heading through the Caribbean towards Florida and may make landfall there at the weekend, but its precise path is uncertain.

Video shows the early effects of Hurricane Irma, with strong winds and rough seas battering Antigua.

The eye of the storm could travel all the way up the east coast of Florida hitting Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville.

Florida's governor Rick Scott warned the storm could impact "millions of Floridians".

Meanwhile the top hurricane warning was lifted in Guadeloupe, to the southeast, authorities there said while still warning of heavy rain and storms and a "dangerous sea".

Expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday night, Jose is stronger than Katia with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, and it is moving west at 17 miles per hour. Impacts elsewhere to the United States are even more uncertain.

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh urged everyone to get out their hurricane plan and look it over should the storm come our way. Hurricane-force winds extend 50 miles from the center, while tropical storm-force winds extend up to 175 miles from the center.

Air Transat said all aircraft were expected to arrive in the Dominican Republic by Wednesday morning and that passengers should be back in Canada by afternoon or early evening. Forecasters predict that Irma's damage may be more tornado-like than the devastation wreaked by more typical hurricanes.

In the central tropical Atlantic, Invest 94L was upgraded to TS Jose on Tuesday, with the NHC forecast calling for Jose to become a Category 2 hurricane within the next few days. For those who decide to ride out the storm here in the Keys, officials say there will be no shelters anywhere in Monroe County.

In this image released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, moves westward in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands.

  • Leroy Wright