It was a typical Monday in Miami when I arrived to catch a train to Puerto Rico for the start of Tropical Storm Irma.
The train ride from the airport was packed, and there were only about five people left, including me.
On the way home, I took the opportunity to get my first look at the weather on the ground, which was very different from the picture on my iPhone.
As we rolled through Puerto Rico, the wind picked up and the rain was relentless, and I was left feeling like a kid in a candy store when it stopped.
It was the first time I had ever seen a hurricane, and while the forecast was promising, it was clear that things would not be quite the way I had hoped.
Irma’s winds, though, were blowing a lot of water and debris onto my city, which is a long way from Miami.
This was not a hurricane at all.
Irma had only a moderate path, moving east-southeast over the central Bahamas and then northeast through the northern tip of Florida.
Irma was expected to bring some rain and tropical storm force winds to Florida over the next few days, but this was not expected to have much impact on the rest of the state.
But Irma was a disaster for Miami.
When it arrived, Irma was moving northeast at about 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour), making it a monster.
Hurricane Jose had been on a long path through the Atlantic Ocean, with maximum sustained winds of up to 175 mph (270 kph).
Irma had the largest hurricane on record in the Atlantic Basin (which includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and its eye was just a bit further from Miami than Jose was from Florida.
Hurricane Irma also was traveling at more than 70 mph (112 kph), which is about double the speed of the hurricane Jose had before it made landfall.
Irma is not expected be the most powerful storm on Earth in the coming days, and its winds could be expected to slow to a trickle over the coming weeks.
But this could be the difference between staying and being evacuated.
Irma will bring at least $1 trillion in damage to Florida, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Irma also could be responsible for $400 million in property damage, according the Florida Department of Insurance.
Florida residents are warned to expect a variety of flooding, landslides, mudslides, and downed trees in the next several days.
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Irma will make landfall in Florida in the southeastern Bahamas around 6 p.m. local time (10 p.t. local) on Sunday, September 30.
Irma could bring winds of 110 mph (150 kph) and sustained winds up to 185 mph (295 kph); the storm could bring gusts of more than 200 mph (320 kph, the highest storm surge on record).
A tropical storm in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Florida has been tracking over the Atlantic since Wednesday morning, and could bring up to 50 inches (1,100 millimeters) of rain to Florida by Friday.
Irma has not yet made landfall in Puerto Rico or the U: Maria was on the way, but there was a chance that the hurricane would be closer to the Florida Keys, where it would still be a Category 1 hurricane.
But the storm is not projected to become a Category 2 or Category 3 hurricane, which would make it much more difficult to pass through the area.
The Florida Keys are expected to receive a Category 3 storm this weekend, with the highest winds expected to be as high as 185 mph.
Miami has been the site of the most intense storm activity in the past year, with at least 12 deaths, more than 10,000 homes destroyed, and thousands of vehicles abandoned and damaged.
Irma, though it is not as strong as Maria, could bring heavy rainfall to Miami, and flooding could be heavy enough that it could disrupt travel in some areas.
Hurricanes are very dangerous storms that cause a lot more damage than normal.
There are so many variables that go into making a hurricane a hurricane.
In this case, the storm had a lot going for it: it was a tropical storm with maximum winds of more.
Hurricanes can be intense storms, but they also can be milder storms.
That’s why hurricanes have to be on a track that would normally be classified as a tropical system.
Hurricane Irene made landfall on September 25 in the Bahamas.
It had maximum sustained wind speeds of over 140 mph (260 kph or 330 km/h), and the storm was forecast to reach hurricane strength over the eastern Bahamas, where the wind was predicted to reach 150 mph (280 kph and 400 km/ h).
Hurricanes are expected in the eastern Atlantic on Sunday.
But for most of the country, the forecast is that it will be a tropical depression or hurricane.
Irma should be a monster in the forecast.
Hurricane Maria is forecast to make landfall on the Florida coast