The country is still reeling from the devastation brought on by Hurricane Harvey. Dozens of people lost their lives during the Category 4 hurricane and damage is still being assessed. (Note: Click here if you would like to donate to help Hurricane Harvey victims.)
Now, another major storm is making its way toward the U.S. and everyone in its path needs to be prepared. Unfortunately, there are fake weather forecasts circulating on social media that could keep people from taking the proper precautions.
Watch out for fake hurricane forecasts
Fraudulent Hurricane Irma forecasts that are going viral on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. These fake forecasts are giving folks wrong information, which could impact their safety.
One post claims that Hurricane Irma will make landfall in Texas, near the area that was just slammed by Hurricane Harvey. Another said Irma will become a Category 7 hurricane, even though the scale maxes out at Category 5.
There are even posts circulating that show forecasts up to 15 days away. It's important to remember that the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues forecasts that only extend to 5 days.
Numerous people seem to be buying into these bogus claims. The posts have been shared tens-of-thousands of times on Facebook. It's such a problem the National Weather Service has issued a warning to keep your eyes out for fake forecasts.
— NWS (@NWS) September 1, 2017
How to get trusted Hurrican Irma information
The NHC said Irma is a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane and will bring life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards. The chance of direct impacts from Irma later this week and this weekend is increasing in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula. However, it is too soon to specify the timing and magnitude of the impacts.
It's also too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental U.S. Everyone in hurricane-prone areas need to have a hurricane plan in place.
The best source for hurricane information is the National Hurricane Center. Click here for up-to-the-moment information on its website. You can also keep track of what's happening on its Facebook page, click here to check that out.
Remember, preparation is key to staying safe. Share this article with family and friends so they know what to watch out for as well.