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Now let's turn to NPR's Leila Fadel, who is in Tampa right now. Many residents there have evacuated, but some are staying in their homes to ride out the storm. Leila, welcome to you. Thank you for joining us.

LEILA FADEL, BYLINE: Thank you.

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Where will it go? How strong will it be? When will it hit? Those are the answers everyone wants — not the least of which are the hurricane forecasters themselves.

To get those answers, hundreds of millions of data points — everything from wind speeds to sea temperatures — pouring in from satellites, aircraft, balloons, buoys and ground stations are fed into the world's fastest computers and programmed with a variety of models at different resolutions, some looking at the big picture, others zooming in much closer.

America seems to be a magnet for devastating hurricanes these days.

This year, Harvey came out strong with its horrific toll on parts of Texas and Louisiana. Now Irma, downgraded slightly Friday morning to a Category 4 storm from its most recent days as a Category 5, has left destruction in its wake as it plows through the Caribbean and Cuba — and is on path to hit Florida Sunday morning.

Kelp was dubbed "the new kale" a few years back by chefs, nutritionists and foodies who embraced its oceanic flavors and purported health benefits. Now seaweed is the star ingredient in "Selkie," a beer at the Portsmouth Brewery on New Hampshire's seacoast. Its named after a mesmerizing, mythological water creature that — as the story goes — can shed its skin to take human form on land.

Hurricane Irma is hovering somewhere between being the most- and second-most powerful hurricane recorded in the Atlantic. It follows Harvey, which dumped trillions of gallons of water on South Texas. And now, Hurricane Jose is falling into step behind Irma, and gathering strength.

Is this what climate change scientists predicted?

In a word, yes. Climate scientists such as Michael Mann at Penn State says, "The science is now fairly clear that climate change will make stronger storms stronger." Or wetter.

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Anticipating Irma

Sep 7, 2017

With winds in excess of 180 miles per hour, Hurricane Irma is one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded.

Evacuations have begun in Florida as Irma hits eastern Caribbean islands and Puerto Rico.

Why Do Parrots (And People) Eat Clay?

Sep 7, 2017

The parrots of Southeastern Peru crave an earthy delicacy: dirt. At the Colorado clay lick, a cliff face rising above the Tambopata River in the western Amazon Basin, parrots — often hundreds at a time from up to 18 species — gather each day to feast on sun-hardened clay.

"It's a real spectacle of both sight and sound," says biologist Donald Brightsmith of Texas A&M University.

Updated at 8 a.m. ET Friday

Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricanes ever recorded, and its wind speeds remain about 150 miles per hour, with stronger gusts. As this monster churns through the Caribbean and heads toward Florida, here is the lowdown.

How dangerous is it?

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