7PM EDT 10 September Update
Irma is now down to a category 2 and weakening as it pulling dried air from the west in and land interaction, as it does, some strong gusts will still occur to the east, and storm surge flooding will still likely occur on both coasts (but the extremes in the warnings are less likely in most areas)
Irma is riding just east of I-75 up the west coast of the state. Tornadoes, rain, strong wind, and flooding/surge will be issues through the night.
8:30AM EDT 10 September Update
Irma's intensification has leveled off at 'just' Category Four this morning. What this means for people in her path is that this will be devastating and efforts to protect life should be rushed to completion.
2:30AM EDT 10 September Update
Irma has definitively embarked on a NW track, and at a slightly faster speed. Extracting herself from the remaining land interaction of Cuba and passing over exceptionally warm waters has proven enough to re-intensify into a very severe and large Category Four Major Hurricane.
Recon, satellite and radar data supports modeling that even more intensification may be underway. In fact, Rapid Intensification is not out of the question, and Irma may become a large Category Five before landfall.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WARNING
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach the following HEIGHTS ABOVE GROUND if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...
Cape Sable to Captiva...10 to 15 ft
Captiva to Ana Maria Island...6 to 10 ft
Card Sound Bridge through Cape Sable, including the Florida Keys... 5 to 10 ft
Ana Maria Island to Clearwater Beach, including Tampa Bay... 5 to 8 ft
North Miami Beach to Card Sound Bridge, including Biscayne Bay... 3 to 5 ft
South Santee River to Fernandina Beach...4 to 6 ft
Clearwater Beach to Ochlockonee River...4 to 6 ft
Fernandina Beach to Jupiter Inlet...2 to 4 ft
North of North Miami Beach to Jupiter Inlet...1 to 2 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS by the following amounts within the hurricane warning area near and to the north of the center of Irma. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
This is a truly catastrophic-level hurricane event. Preps to protect life should be rushed to completion. Property can be replaced! RUN FROM THE WATER! HIDE FROM THE WIND!
5PM EDT 8 September Update
EYE OF IRMA BEGINNING TO MOVE SLOWLY AWAY FROM THE COAST OF CUBA
WHILE WEATHER IS DETERIORATING IN SOUTH FLORIDA...
...MAJOR HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXPECTED OVER THE FLORIDA KEYS AT DAYBREAK...
The Storm Surge Warning has been extended from the Volusia/BrevardCounty Line northward to the South Santee River.
The Hurricane Watch west of the Aucilla River to Indian Pass has been upgraded to a Hurricane Warning, and the Tropical Storm Watch west of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued north of Fernandina Beach to South Santee River.
6:30AM EDT 8 September Update
Some slight good news this morning (for Florida) is that the system has had land interaction with Cuba (Bad for Cuba) that has brought the pressure back up, and weakened Irma a bit, but not very substantially, (still a major hurricane) and the system is expected to move back north over warmer water in fairly short order.
The official track shifted slightly west, but still has a large enough windfield to envelop most of the state in hurricane force winds, and storm surge momentum that will raise the ocean level along the coasts, check the Inundation Maps for a forecast for those right along the coast.
Watches and warnings have creeped up north also,
The Hurricane Warning and the Storm Surge Warning are extended northward along the Florida West coast from Anclote River to Chassahowitzka.
The Hurricane Warning is extended northward along the Florida East coast to the Flagler/Volusia County Line.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued north of Fernandina Beach to Altamaha Sound, Georgia.
At this point pay attention to local officials and media for the most up to date info, and if you are in the warning area you have today to prepare (less than that the further south you are)
Tomorrow will be the worst day for Irma for most folks.
11PM EDT 8 September Update
Hurricane Katia just made landfall north of Tecolutla, Mexico. Irma reached Category 5 and clipped Cuba.
The Storm Surge Warning has been extended northward on the east coast of Florida to the Volusia/Brevard County Line and on the west coast of Florida to Anclote River, including Tampa Bay.
The Hurricane Warning has been extended northward on the east coast of Florida to the Volusia/Brevard County Line and on the west coast of Florida to Anclote River.
The Storm Surge Watch has been extended northward on the west coast of Florida to Suwanee River.
The Hurricane Watch has been extended northward on the east coast of Florida to Fernandina Beach and on the west coast of Florida to Indian Pass.
The government of Cuba has upgraded the Hurricane Watch for the province of Matanzas to a Hurricane Warning. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the provinces of La Habana and Ciudad de la Habana. The Hurricane Watch and Tropical Storm Warning for Guantanamo have been discontinued.
8PM EDT 8 September Update
Irma's track remains a little west of yesterday, and is even now scraping Cuba, which is increasingly at risk itself of more serious impacts. Both GFS & ECMWF have honed in to landfall on the Lower Keys and head up from there across Tampa. Latest recon data supports idea that landfall may easily occur at Cat 5. This is a monster and preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion and everyone should evacuate when and where ordered to do so.
Elsewhere, Katia is close to making landfall in eastern Mexico (Cat 2) and Hurricane Warnings are up for high-end Cat 4 Jose for some of the very same portions of the Leeward Islands just ravaged by Irma, like Barbuda.
1PM EDT 8 September Update
Irma's track shifts slightly west again, raising the threat of storm surge on the west coast, even with the shift hurricane force winds will reach all the way to the east coast of Florida. Minor track shifts, either direction, may still occur. It is forecast to be category 5 at Keys landfall.
The Hurricane Warning has been extended northward for east coast of Florida to Sebastian Inlet, and along the west coast of the peninsula northward to Anna Maria Island.
The Hurricane Watch has been extended northward along the west coast of Florida to Suwannee River.
A Storm Surge Watch has been issued north of Venice to the Anclote River, including Tampa Bay, and from Ponce Inlet to the Flagler/ Volusia County Line.
11AM EDT 8 September Update
The Storm Surge Warning has been extended from Jupiter Inlet northward to Sebastian Inlet and from Bonita Beach northward to Venice.
A Storm Surge Watch has been issued from north of Sebastian Inlet to Ponce Inlet.
The Hurricane Watch has been extended northward along the east coast of Florida to the Flagler/Volusia County Line, and along the west coast of Florida to Anclote River (Tarpon Springs).
Jose also increases to cat 4, Katia cat 2.
6AM EDT 8 September Update
Hurricane Irma moves over the Southeastern Bahamas, generally west northwest, currently located just south of Crooked Island. it has weakened some due a large eyewall replacement cycle going on, which results in a larger windfield and a temporary disruption in the wind speed, after this the hurricane force winds will cover a larger area as it moves toward Cuba. Some forecast models take it briefly over Cuba, which could weaken it a bit more before the turn north and over the Keys and South Florida.
Hurricane watches and warnings have not changed at the 5AM advisory, but the watches/warnings are likely to creep up north at the 11AM advisory today.
Slightly better news for Jose as the track has shifted north away from the Islands that were most recently hit by Irma, but they are still in the cone and watches/warnings remain there.
Hurricane Katia in the Bay of Campeche is creeping extremely slowly to the west southwest toward Mexico, where warnings remain.
During a landfalling hurricane information becomes very voluminous and difficult to keep track of, please listen to local officials and media for information for your particular area.
Websites such as this one are good tools to help, but no replacement for the official sources and local EM and law enforcement.
Please stay safe and use the next day (or two depending) to prepare for the storm.
If you do leave, beware traffic levels will be in uncharted waters leaving Florida today and tomorrow, consider state highways and other alternate roads beyond the sea of cars on the turnpike and northbound interstates. Also be mindful of gas and potential temporary shortages.
There are links to some media sources below on the main flhurricane page to help, and floridadisaster.org is a good launching point for Florida specific Emergency management.
11PM EDT 7 September Update
A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as for the Florida Keys.
A Hurricane Warning has been issued from Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as for the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.
A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet and for the west coast of Florida north of Bonita Beach to Venice.
A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet and for the west coast of Florida north of Bonita Beach to Anna Maria Island.
The government of the Dominican Republic has discontinued the Hurricane Warning for the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
Irma is going to turn N.. but question is.. when? 2hrs? 8 hrs? from now? then will it go N or NNW as it gets north of Key west.. and will it be just west of KeyWest or just east?.. If it goes west of KeyWest... I think it will stay offshore Ft Myers and probably Clearwater all the way up to Apolachacola by Monday morning.. if it goes east.. then it will make landfall or brush Sanibel,Island-Venice (inland)-Bradenton-St Pete and exit just north of New Port Richie..that's if the turn NNW doesn't happen till after midnight
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