Hurricane Irma is literally sucking the water away from shorelines

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"As a meteorologist, there are things you learn in textbooks that you may never see in person", she wrote.

The most powerful hurricane ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean has battered several Caribbean islands, leaving Barbuda and St. Martins near "uninhabitable", according to national authorities.

"I am in disbelief right now.This is Long Island, Bahamas and the ocean water is missing!"

THIS was the freakish moment the devastating Hurricane Irma sucked water away from Caribbean beaches in a rare phenomenon.

Angela Fritz, an atmospheric scientist and the Washington Post's deputy weather editor, explained what happened.

One Twitter user shared an incredible video of the dry ocean on Saturday afternoon.

The water is due to return to Long Island on Sunday, she added.

Cuba was hit on Saturday with winds of up to 160mph, the first time the island had suffered such a strong hurricane since 1924. Low pressure is basically a sucking mechanism - it sucks the air into it, and when it's really low, it can change the shape of the surface of the ocean. Irma's central pressure is so low it acts to pull water toward the center of the storm. Wayne Neely, a forecaster with the Bahamas Department of Meteorology, wrote in a post on Facebook that this phenomenon previously occurred during a hurricane affecting Acklins Island in the Bahamas in 1936. The water should return by Sunday afternoon without any great force.

The eyewall is now lashing the lower Florida Keys as it prepares to continue along the western coast clipping Naples and Fort Myers before it hits Tampa.

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