The Atlantic officially has three hurricanes churning simultaneously — Irma, Jose and Katia.
Irma, a powerful Category 5 storm, is currently battering Puerto Rico and on track to slam into Florida, while Jose is barreling toward the Caribbean Islands, while Katia is menacing the Gulf of Mexico. Both Jose and Katia intensified from tropical storms into hurricanes today (Sept. 6).
The last time three hurricanes were active at once was 2010, when hurricanes Igor, Julia and Karl were classified as hurricanes, according to records from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The record for the most hurricanes active at once is four — that was set in 1998 when Hurricanes Georges, Ivan, Jeanne and Karl intensified simultaneously. Before that, the last time four hurricanes were active at the same time was Aug. 22, 1893.
The current hurricane season has been unusually active. NOAA recently predicted that the season would have between 14 and 19 named storms and between two and five major hurricanes. Already, the season has experienced six named hurricanes and 11 named storms. Hurricane season doesn't typically reach its peak till September 10.
Originally published on Live Science.
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Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.