Hurricane Irma’s winds pick up speed as it closes in on Florida, Jose on its heels

Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm to ever build in the Atlantic, on Friday continued its devastating track across the Caribbean, barreling through the Bahamas and remaining on path to hit Florida this weekend as a “life-threatening” weather system.

At 8 a.m. Eastern Friday, Irma was located 450 miles southeast of Miami, traveling toward the coast at 16 miles an hour and forecast to make landfall in Florida late Saturday. The storm was downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 miles an hour, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory. Earlier in the week, Irma was packing winds of 185 miles an hour, making it a Category 5 hurricane, the highest on the Saffir–Simpson scale.

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