ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Irma rapidly strengthened from a tropical storm Thursday to a Category 3 hurricane.

The storm is expected to continue to strengthen as it tracks west across the central Atlantic Ocean.

As of 6 a.m. Friday, Irma had sustained winds of 115 mph with higher gusts. The storm was located roughly 840 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. Irma was moving to the west-northwest at 12 mph.

As the storm continues to generally move west across the Atlantic it is expected to continue to strengthen and potentially become a Category 4 hurricane by early next week. At this point the storm does not pose any threat to land.

The current forecast track brings the storm within a few hundred miles of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean by next Tuesday. It is too far out to determine where the storm will go after early next week, but it it certainly something that the 10News Weather Team will be tracking closely.

Some of the forecast models take the storm into the Caribbean while others curve the storm north into the Atlantic off the East Coast of the United States.

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