Latest on Irma
The newest National Weather Service forecast predicts a catastrophic track for Hurricane Irma which has led Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to issue new evacuation orders for certain areas of those states.
This is OUTDATED but all of our Current Irma coverage is HERE.
Hurricane Irma’s Current Position and Track
The national weather service is currently forecasting landfall in western Florida. Irma is forecast to first make landfall over Marathon Key then on the southwestern coast of the mainland before tracking up the peninsula into Georgia and Tennessee.
0200 AST/EDT (0600 UTC) Update from National Weather Service
- Location: 22.3N 78.2W
- Strength: 160 mph max sustained winds (Category 5)
- Movement: W (280 deg.) at 12 mph
- Pressure: 924 mb and steady
*next update at 2 am EDT – check our Irma update page for new information
The latest satellite imagery shows a confused eye and smaller eyewall than previous. This could indicate weakening or just the effects of a close pass with Cuba.
Irma is a strong category four storm and may strengthen to a category five over the next 24 hours as it skirts Cuba and the Bahamas before making landfall in Florida.
Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).
Computer Models for Hurricane Irma
Computer models are closing in on a more western landfall. Irma is going to, in one way or another, be catastrophic for the Sunshine State.
Early cycle model consensus forecasts that Irma will ride up the western side of Florida with no landfall but nearest approach near St. Petersburg.
The late cycle model consensus forecasts a path through the western side of the sunshine state.
The intensity models show slight weakening as Irma approaches Florida.
The current U.S. portion of Irma’s track shows landfall near Everglade City and a track straight up the west side of the peninsula and through Georgia.
The National Weather Service forecasts a direct hit to the Florida Keys and southwest Florida.
Florida has declared a state of emergency and multiple areas have been ordered to evacuate immediately.
- EVACUATIONS AND SHELTERS
- Based on recent forecasts, the U.S. Army Corps has been reviewing how the federally operated Herbert Hoover Dike will be impacted. Governor Scott spoke to Col. Jason Kirk with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Corps. believes there will be additional impacts from excessive wind pushing some water over the Dike. While they have assured the Governor that the structural integrity of the Dike will not be compromised, Governor Scott has ordered voluntary evacuations beginning immediately in the cities surrounding the southern half of Lake Okeechobee from Lake Port to Canal Point in Hendry, Palm Beach and Glades counties. Mandatory evacuations are in place for these communities beginning this morning.This decision was made due to Governor Scott’s sole focus on life safety as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida. The seven cities affected by these orders are as follows:
- South Bay
- Lake Harbor
- Moore Haven
- Belle Glade
- Canal Point
- Brevard – mandatory evacuations for Zone A, Merritt Island, barrier islands, and some low-lying mainland areas along Indian River Lagoon beginning Friday
- Broward – mandatory East of Federal Highway including barrier islands beginning Thursday
- Charlotte – Voluntary evacuations
- Collier – mandatory evacuations for Goodland, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, all mobile homes beginning on Friday
- Flagler – mandatory evacuations for nursing homes, all varieties of assisted living facilities, and community residential group homes within coastal and Intracoastal areas and voluntary for zones A, B, C, F; mandatory for Zones A,B,C,F, and substandard housing beginning on Saturday
- Glades – mandatory evacuations around Lake Okeechobee
- Hardee – voluntary evacuations for low-lying areas, mobile homes, and port structures
- Hendry – mandatory evacuations for low-lying areas, non-slab-built homes, mobile home and RVs, areas near Lake Okeechobee
- Indian River – voluntary evacuations for barrier islands, low-lying areas
- Lee – mandatory evacuations for barrier islands – Bonita Beach, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Island beginning on Friday AM
- Manatee – voluntary evacuations for Zone A
- Martin – mandatory evacuations for barrier islands, manufactured homes, and low-lying areas beginning Saturday
- Miami-Dade – mandatory evacuations for all of Zone A, all of Zone B, and portions of Zone C. Miami Dade residents can find their zones by clicking HERE.
- Monroe – mandatory evacuations for visitors and residents. A dedicated transportation hotline is available specifically for individuals in the Keys at 305-517-2480
- Palm Beach – mandatory evacuations for Zone A and B, voluntary for Zone C and Lake Zone E
- Pinellas – mandatory evacuations all mobile home and Zone A
- Sarasota – voluntary evacuations in Zone A, mobile homes
- St. Lucie – mandatory evacuations for north and south Hutchinson Island, low-lying areas
- Additional evacuations are expected throughout the state. All Floridians should pay close attention to local alerts and follow the directions of local officials.
- Shelters are continuing to open across the state, including shelters for people with special needs, pets and general populations. DOH is coordinating the set up and staffing for special needs shelters. A list of all open shelters will be available at floridadisaster.org/shelters.
- The state is working with the American Red Cross to identify shelter capacity both during and following the storm.
Floridians should start preparing now to either shelter-in-place or evacuate. As Irma tracks towards Florida, additional evacuations will likely be posted. Don’t wait until the last minute and please listen to local authorities for instructions.
Georgia has declared a state of emergency. Gov. Nathan Deal issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday for all areas east of I-95 and other parts of the state’s coast as Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida and Georgia with potentially catastrophic force.
“I encourage all Georgians in our coastal areas that could be impacted by this storm to evacuate the area as soon as possible,” Deal said. “Beginning Saturday, a mandatory evacuation order will take effect for Chatham County, all areas east of I-95 and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by this catastrophic hurricane and storm surge. GEMA/HS continues leading our preparedness efforts as we coordinate with federal, state and local officials to safely evacuate the coastal areas, provide public shelter and minimize the disruption of traffic. Finally, I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in Hurricane Irma’s path.”
South Carolina has declared a state of emergency, no evacuation orders are in place.
Gov. Henry McMaster said he plans on issuing mandatory coastal evacuations starting at 10 a.m. Saturday along with a complete lane reversal of Interstate 26 from Charleston to Columbia as Hurricane Irma heads toward South Carolina.
“Now is the time to prepare,” McMaster warned during a news conference at the S.C. Emergency Management Division headquarters on Wednesday. “When it’s too late, it’s too late and that’s when we have a lot sadness.”
Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency for North Carolina. No evacuations have been ordered.
Watches and Warnings
Areas under storm surge warning
* Sebastian Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Venice
* Florida Keys
Areas under storm surge watch
* North of Sebastian Inlet to the Flagler/Volusia County line
* North of Venice to Anclote River
* Tampa Bay
Areas under Hurricane Warning
* Sebastian Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Anna
* Florida Keys
* Lake Okeechobee
* Florida Bay
* Southeastern Bahamas
* Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, and
* Central Bahamas
* Northwestern Bahamas
Areas under Hurricane Watch
* North of Sebastian Inlet to the Flagler/Volusia County Line
* North of Anna Maria Island to the Suwannee River
* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Matanzas
Areas under Tropical Storm Warning
* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, and Las Tunas
Areas under Tropical Storm Watch
What to Expect from Hurricane Irma
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…
- SW Florida from Captiva to Cape Sable…6 to 12 ft
- Jupiter Inlet to Cape Sable including the Florida Keys…5 to 10 ft
- Ponce Inlet to Jupiter Inlet…3 to 6 ft
- Venice to Captiva…3 to 6 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.
- Turks and Caicos Islands…15 to 20 ft
- Southeastern and central Bahamas…15 to 20 ft
- Northwestern Bahamas…5 to 10 ft
- Northern coast of Haiti and the Gulf of Gonave…1 to 3 ft
- Northern coast of Cuba in the warning area…5 to 10 ft
WIND: Hurricane conditions are occurring on the Turks and Caicos Islands, with tropical storm and hurricane conditions ongoing in the southeastern Bahamas. These conditions will move into the central Bahamas later today. Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area along the north coast of Cuba late today and
Saturday. Hurricane conditions are expected in the northwestern Bahamas tonight and Saturday and in portions of southern Florida and the Florida Keys Saturday night or early Sunday.
Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area in Florida by Sunday, with tropical storm conditions possible by late Saturday.
RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Tuesday night:
- Dominican Republic and Haiti…additional 1 to 4 inches.
- Turks and Caicos…additional 2 to 4 inches.
- Southern Bahamas and northern Cuba…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
- Southern Cuba…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
- Jamaica…1 to 2 inches.
- The upper Florida Keys into southeast Florida…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
- Lower Florida Keys…4 to 8 inches.
- Eastern Florida northward into coastal Georgia…8 to 12 inches, isolated 16 inches.
- Western Florida peninsula…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
- Much of Georgia…South Carolina…and Western North Carolina…3 to 6 inches.
In all areas, this rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods and, in some areas, mudslides.
SURF: Swells generated by Irma are affecting Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, and should start affecting portions of the southeast coast of the United States later today and tonight. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
When to Expect Hurricane Irma and Where
INIT 09/0300Z 22.1N 77.7W 140 KT 160 MPH
12H 09/1200Z 22.6N 79.1W 140 KT 160 MPH
24H 10/0000Z 23.3N 80.6W 135 KT 155 MPH
36H 10/1200Z 24.5N 81.4W 130 KT 150 MPH – 11 miles SSE of Summerland Key
48H 11/0000Z 26.5N 81.9W 115 KT 130 MPH…INLAND
72H 12/0000Z 31.6N 83.8W 50 KT 60 MPH…INLAND
96H 13/0000Z 35.0N 87.0W 25 KT 30 MPH…INLAND
120H 14/0000Z 35.5N 87.5W 20 KT 25 MPH…POST-TROP/INLAND