Skip to main content

Igor Strengthens to Major Hurricane as Julia Becomes Newest Tropical Storm

This satellite image of Tropical Storm Igor was taken by NASA's Aqua satellite on Sept. 9 when it was over the Cape Verde Islands. (Image credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team)

Update, 10:50 a.m. ET Monday, Sept. 13: Hurricane Igor strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane over the weekend and its highest wind speed is just 5 mph (8 kph) shy of reaching Category 5 status, the highest status on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength. Igor was joined by Tropical Storm Julia over the weekend, and is moving away from the southernmost Cape Verde Islands.

The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season is moving along at a brisk pace as storms form over the Atlantic one after the other. The latest addition to the list is Tropical Storm Igor, which formed off the west coast of Africa on Sept. 8.

At 11 a.m. ET on Sept. 10, Igor was located in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean 465 miles (748 kilometers) west of the Cape Verde Islands. It had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (64 kph) and was moving in a westward direction.

Igor weakened slightly into a tropical depression on Sept. 9, but re-strengthened overnight. The storm is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes are all collectively called tropical cyclones.

Tropical Storm Igor follows in the wake of Tropical Storm Hermine, which drenched the coasts of Mexico and Texas when it made landfall on Labor Day, Sept. 6.

Igor formed in a similar area to Hurricane Earl , which swiped the barrier islands of North Carolina, the eastern edge of Long Island and Cape Cod earlier this month.

Hurricane forecasters have called for an active 2010 season . Though it has been quiet so far, the season only reaches its peak in late August through early October. Forecasts have predicted there will be 14 to 20 named storms this year, eight to 12 of which are expected to become hurricanes.

For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.