Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Hurricane Irma's forecast track keeps shifting further to the west, but it's still unclear what exact impact the storm will have on the U.S. and South Carolina.
Irma got a little stronger Monday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles an hour. The storm is a powerful Category 3 hurricane.
The storm was moving towards the west-southwest at 14 mph. The storm was about 610 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
The Category 3 storm is expected to strengthen this week into a Category 4 storm. There is no immediate threat to land, but hurricane watches are in effect for the northern Leeward Islands.
Interests in the remainder of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of Irma. Additional hurricane and tropical storm watches may be necessary for parts of that area Monday.
According to the National Hurricane Center, "It is too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental United States. Regardless, everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place, as we are now near the peak of the season."
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center of circulation and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
The Hurricane Hunters flew into Irma Sunday evening. The information they gather will give us a better idea of the future track of the storm.