Irma 4 p.m. Tuesday: No Change In Strength

Hurricane Irma continued to plow towards the northward Leeward Islands Tuesday afternoon as a powerful category 5 storm with maximum winds of 185 miles per hour.

Watches and warning stretch across the islands that are in Irma's path. The National Hurricane Center says Irma is a "potentially catastrophic" storm.

"The chance of direct impacts from Irma beginning later this week and this weekend from wind, storm surge, and rainfall continues to increase in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula. However, it is too soon to specify the timing and magnitude of these impacts," said Irma's forecast discussion that was part of the 4 p.m. CDT update from the NHC.

The long-term track of Irma shows an expected turn towards the north over the weekend that could keep the storm away from Louisiana but it is simply too early to rule out any impact.

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