Hurricane Irma to brush Carolinas

MONDAY, SEPT 11TH, 3 PM UPDATE:

Irma continues to slowly weaken moving into Georgia with current sustained winds of 60 mph. While the center is moving NNW away from the Carolinas, we are now seeing the outer effects from Irma as the storm dissipates. The band of heavy rain that has moved through Charleston this afternoon will slowly progress northward into the Grand Strand. The coastal regions will have the chance to see isolated tornadoes. Rainfall amounts could accumulate up to 4″ and winds will be very gusty throughout the night. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph along the coast. Conditions will be improving throughout the day Tuesday.

MONDAY, SEPT 11TH, 8AM UPDATE:

Irma has now weakened to a tropical storm with winds of 70mph, moving off to the north northwest at 18mph. Irma will continue to weaken through the day moving into Georgia and Alabama as a tropical depression by Tuesday.

We’ll continue to see fringe effects and nothing has changed as far as our forecast goes for today.

 

MONDAY, SEPT 11TH, 5AM UPDATE:

Irma is continuing to weaken as it moves across the western Florida peninsula, with the eye dissipating and weakening banding near the center. As of 5am Irma was located about 50 miles southwest of Gainsville, Fl moving west north west at 18mph with a sustained wind of 75mph which makes Irma a Cat 1 storm.

Irma is expected to move into Georgia as a weakening system this afternoon weakening to a tropical storm and eventual to a tropical depression by Tuesday. .

Hurricane force winds extend 80 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical storm force winds extend outward 220 miles. This is a large storm, and while the storm system is not coming our way, we’ll still have some fringe effects Monday into Tuesday morning.

MAIN MINOR THREATS: 

The main threat we will see are sustained winds 20-30mph with gust up to 45-50mph.

There is a coastal flood advisory for Horry and Georgetown county. The persistent northeast wind will continue to pile water up along the coast, and tides 1-3 feet above normal are expected. That is high enough to put water into the dunes at high tide. Places along the coast that flood often will flood at high tide. The next few high tides at Springmaid Pier are  11:56am Monday, 12:29am Tuesday, 12:57pm Tuesday.

There is also a threat for isolated tornadoes. The main threat will be along the coast where there is a 5% chance for an isolated tornado, while places further in the Pee Dee as a 2% chance for an isolated tornado.

 

StormTracker13 Meteorologist Amanda Holly will host a Facebook Live update and discussion on Hurricane Irma Sunday at 5 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPT 10TH 5PM UPDATE:

As of 5pm, Irma was located about 5 miles north of Naples, FL. The storm is moving to the north at 14 mph. Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings are in effect for most of Florida. Storm surge warnings in South Carolina are in effect south of the Santee River.

Hurricane Irma will move NNW tonight through tomorrow with an increase in speed. This will bring the core of the hurricane along the southwest, then west coasts of Florida tonight into tomorrow morning, then into Georgia as a weakening system tomorrow afternoon. Irma will remain a powerful hurricane along the west coast of Florida.

Hurricane force winds extend 80 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical storm force winds extend outward 220 miles. This is a large storm, and it will have serious across the entire Florida peninsula.

In the Carolinas, our main impact will be heavy rain and the potential for minor flooding. Rain showers will begin Monday morning and will be scattered through the afternoon. Heavier, steadier rain will move in tomorrow night and will wind down early Tuesday morning. 2-4 inches of rain is possible in our area. Some places to the south will see more than 4”, some places in North Carolina will see less than 2”. Minor flooding is possible on Monday night.

It will stay windy tonight, but the strongest winds will be Monday and Monday night. Expect a northeast wind at 15-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph tonight. Wind on Monday will be 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. The strongest winds will be to the south, closer to the track of Irma. Wind will diminish early Tuesday morning.

There will also be a small risk for tornados on Monday and Monday night. Coastal flooding will continue to be an issue along the coast for the next few high tides. The persistent northeast wind will continue to pile water up along the coast, and tides 1-3 feet above normal are expected. That is high enough to put water into the dunes at high tide. Places along the coast that flood often will flood at high tide. The next few high tides at Springmaid Pier are 11:29pm Sunday, 11:56am Monday, 12:29am Tuesday, 12:57pm Tuesday.

SUNDAY SEPT 10TH 11AM UPDATE:

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane shortly before 9am this morning.  As of 11am this morning, the center of Hurricane Irma was located
near latitude 25.0 North, longitude 81.5 West. Irma is moving toward the north near 9 mph and a north-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected later today, with that motion continuing through Monday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should move over the Lower Florida Keys shortly, and then move near or over the west coast of the Florida Peninsula later today through tonight. Irma should then move inland over northern Florida and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon.

The storm is expected to stay well away from the Carolinas, but we could still see some minor impacts. In the Carolinas, our main impact will be heavy rain and the potential for minor flooding. Rain will begin early Monday morning, and will continue heavy at times through Monday night. 4-6 inches of rain is possible in Georgetown, Williamsburg, Clarendon, Sumter and Lee Counties. Areas to the north of this can expect 2-4 inches of rain. Minor flooding is possible on Monday. The rain will be heavy at times  and will start shortly after 1pm Monday, but will start to move out by Tuesday morning.

Winds will be breezy with sustained winds 20-30mph and gusting up to 45mph at times.

The Storm Prediction center has placed portions of Horry and Georgetown counties in the “Slight” risk for severe weather. This is the area with greatest risk for an isolated quick fast moving tornado.

There is also the possibility for minor beach erosion and storm surge. 2-3ft storm surge is really the highest we’ll see. Coastal flooding will be an issue especially during high tide Sunday night and Monday. 

StormTracker13 Meteorologist Amanda Holly will host a Facebook Live update and discussion on Hurricane Irma Saturday at 5 p.m.

Saturday Sept 9th 5pm Update:

As of 5pm, Irma was located about 115 miles SE of Key West, FL. The storm is moving to the WNW at 9 mph. Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings are in effect for both coasts of the Florida peninsula.

Hurricane Irma will move NW tonight, then turn to the north tomorrow. This will bring the core of the hurricane to the Florida Keys tomorrow morning, then into southwestern Florida tomorrow afternoon. Tropical storm force winds have already started in the Florida Keys and Everglades. Hurricane Irma will hit Florida as a major category 3 or 4 hurricane.

Sunday night into Monday, Irma will move northward up the west coast of Florida. This forecast track will slowly weaken the storm due to interaction with land. Later on Monday, Irma is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm as it moves into Georgia.

 

In the Carolinas, our main impact will be heavy rain and the potential for minor flooding. Rain will begin early Monday morning, and will continue heavy at times through Monday night. 4-6 inches of rain is possible in Georgetown, Williamsburg, Clarendon, Sumter and Lee Counties. Areas to the north of this can expect 2-4 inches of rain. Minor flooding is possible on Monday.

Wind will continue to increase Sunday, and it will be windy through Monday. Sunday and Sunday night expect a northeast wind at 15-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Wind on Monday will be 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. The strongest winds will be to the south, closer to the track of Irma. Wind will diminish Monday night.

There will also be a small risk for tornados on Monday. The risk from a storm surge is low Monday, but winds will be onshore and gusty all day. There may be some minor coastal flooding at high tide. High tide Monday at Springmaid Pier is 11:56am.

Saturday Sept 9th 8am Update:

StormTracker13 Meteorologist Jonathan Weant hosted a Facebook Live update and discussion on Hurricane Irma Saturday at 11 a.m.

Hurricane Irma has been hitting the north coast of Cuba hard this morning.  Irma still a Cat 4 storm, has weakened just a bit to 130mph as it interacts with Cuba’s landmass. Irma has yet to make the turn north, but is expected to do so later today. Irma is expected to strengthen with winds near 150mph before hitting the Keys Sunday skirting up the southwest side of Florida as a very powerful Cat 4 Storm. The current National Hurricane Center forecast calls for the center of the storm to pass 300 miles west of Myrtle Beach. This would keep the worst of the storm to our southwest.

If the storm passes this far to our west, we will still feel some impacts from Irma on Monday. We will likely see heavy rain and the potential for minor flooding, and there will be a threat for tornadoes on Monday. As of 8am Saturday, we could see 2-4 inches of rain with pockets of 4-6. Sustained winds 20-30mph with gust up to 45mph.

StormTracker13 Chief Meteorologist Frank Johnson hosted a Facebook Live update and discussion on Hurricane Irma Friday at 8 p.m.

11 pm Friday, Sept. 8th Update:

The westward shift in Hurricane Irma’s forecast track that started yesterday has continued today. The current National Hurricane Center forecast calls for the center of the storm to pass 300 miles west of Myrtle Beach. This would keep the worst of the storm to our southwest.

If the storm passes this far to our west, we will still feel some impacts from Irma on Monday. We will likely see heavy rain and the potential for minor flooding, and there will be a threat for tornadoes on Monday.

As of 11pm, Irma was located about 300 miles SSE of Miami, FL. The storm is moving to the west at 13 mph. Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings are in effect for central & south Florida.

Hurricane Irma will resume a WNW track tonight, nearing the northern coast of Cuba tonight and tomorrow. A turn to the northwest is expected late tomorrow. The center of the storm will be near the Florida Keys and southern Florida peninsula Sunday morning. Some fluctuations in strength are possible over the next day or two, but Irma is expected to remain a dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane as it approaches Florida.

On Sunday into Monday, Irma will move northward up the Florida peninsula. This forecast track keeps the center of the storm over land, which will slowly weaken the storm. Later on Monday, Irma is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm as it moves into Georgia.

In the Carolinas, wind will start to increase late Sunday, and it will be windy Monday and Monday night. Our chances for tropical storm force winds are currently at 10-20%, down from 40-50% on Thursday. Rain will begin early Monday morning, and will continue heavy at times through Monday night. 4-6 inches of rain is possible in Georgetown, Williamsburg, Clarendon, Sumter and Lee Counties. Areas to the north of this can expect 2-4 inches of rain. Minor flooding is possible on Monday. There will also be a risk for tornados on Monday. The risk from a storm surge is low Monday, but winds will be onshore and gusty all day. There may be some minor coastal flooding at high tide. High tide Monday at Springmaid Pier is 11:56am.

Fluctuations in the forecast track are still possible in the next few days, and a shift back to the east could bring higher winds and heavier rain back into our forecast..

2 pm Friday, Sept. 8th Update:

The latest models continue to keep the track west of the Carolinas. Time for further shifts in the track is shrinking but there is still time and impacts are still possible in the Carolinas. The track keeps South Carolina on the east side of the storm which favors tornadoes. Depending on how close the center is, onshore flow to the coastline could bring higher than normal tides. Rainfall is also a concern where localized flooding is possible in some spots. However, a major flood event is unlikely with this system because of how fast it will be moving.

Irma is still a major category 4 hurricane with 155 mph sustained winds and even higher gusts. The storm is located 380 SE of Miami. Hurricane Watches and Warnings as well as Storm Surge Watches and Warnings have been expanded along up the Florida coastline. Tropical storm force winds will arrive before daybreak Saturday in Miami. Wind and rain impacts will be felt far away from the center of the storm in Florida. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center of Irma and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.

Impacts in South Carolina are still strictly dependent on how close the center of the storm will be. A closer track will increase the likelihood of these impacts in all four categories. Changes are still possible with the track and you should continue to check in often for any updates.

Rainfall amounts along the Grand Strand, in the Pee Dee and near the Border Belt will be minimal and original estimates have come down due to the track shift. Localized amounts could be higher and flooding on the roads is possible. A closer track will result in higher amounts.

 

6 am Friday, Sept. 8th Update:

Hurricane Irma, while slowly weakening, continues to be a large, dangerous category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 155 mph.

As of 5 am, Irma was located about 240 miles SE of Miami. The storm is moving to the WNW at 16 mph.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands; the north and east coast of Cuba; and the Bahamas. Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches are in effect for south Florida.

Hurricane Irma will continue to move to the WNW today, taking the storm through the southeast Bahamas, then close to the coast of Cuba. Irma will impact Florida over the weekend. Some fluctuations in strength are possible over the next day or two, but Irma is expected to remain a dangerous category 4 hurricane as it approaches Florida.

At some point over the weekend, Irma will make a turn to the north. The timing on when this turn occurs is critical to the forecast in the Carolinas.

  

Irma’s current WNW track is being steered by a large area of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean. Over the weekend, Irma will come to the edge of this steering flow, and will be drawn northward by a dip in the jet stream over the eastern United States.

The big question on who else will be impacted by Irma will depend on when and where the high pressure will stop pushing Irma, and the dip in the jet stream will start to draw the storm northward.

  

If this happens on early Saturday, then Irma may just brush the east coast of Florida, and would pose a threat of a stronger storm impacting the Carolinas. If the turn north waits until late Saturday then a direct hit on south Florida is more likely. If the northward turn waits until Sunday then Irma could pass through the Straits of Florida before turning north. These later paths would bring the storm over land in Florida, which would weaken the storm before possible moving toward the Carolinas.

Impacts from Irma on the Carolinas will be Monday, perhaps lasting into Tuesday. Those impacts range from strong gusty winds, heavy rain and storm surge to just windy, rainy conditions.

Early estimates of rainfall are for 4-6 inches of rain along the Grand Strand and in the Pee Dee. Lesser rain amounts would be to the north. The strongest winds will be close to the track of the center of the storm, and it is still to early to pin down an exact track, but tropical storm force winds are possible early Monday morning through Monday night. If the center of the storm stays west of our area, tornadoes will be possible on Monday. A track to the west will also bring a storm surge and coastal flooding to the Grand Strand. The highest storm surge will be closer to where the storm makes landfall, but even landfall near Savannah can bring a large storm surge to the Grand Strand. If the center stays over land in Florida and Georgia, the risk for a storm surge will be lower.

Fluctuations in the forecast track are likely in the next few days which could bring big changes in the storm impacts.

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8 pm Thursday, Sept. 7th Update

Hurricane Irma continues to be a large, dangerous category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 175 mph. Irma is one of the strongest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic.

As of 5pm, Irma was located about 55 miles WSW of Grand Turk Island. The storm is moving to the WNW at 16 mph.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands; the northern coasts of Dominican Republic and Haiti; and the Bahamas. Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches are in effect for south Florida.

Hurricane Irma will continue to move to the WNW tonight and tomorrow, taking the storm through the southeast Bahamas tonight, then close to the coast of Cuba tomorrow. Irma will impact Florida over the weekend. Some fluctuations in strength are possible over the next day or two days, but Irma is expected to remain a dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane as it approaches Florida.

At some point over the weekend, Irma will make a turn to the north. The timing on when this turn occurs is critical to the forecast in the Carolinas.

Irma’s current WNW track is being steered by a large area of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean. Over the weekend, Irma will come to the edge of this steering flow, and will be drawn northward by a dip in the jet stream over the eastern United States.

The big question on who else will be impacted by Irma will depend on when and where the high pressure will stop pushing Irma, and the dip in the jet stream will start to draw the storm northward.

If this happens on early Saturday, then Irma may just brush the east coast of Florida, and would pose a threat of a stronger storm impacting the Carolinas. If the turn north waits until late Saturday then a direct hit on south Florida is possible. If the northward turn waits until Sunday then Irma could pass through the Straits of Florida before turning north. These later paths would bring the storm over land in Florida, which would weaken the storm before possible moving toward the Carolinas.

Impacts from Irma on the Carolinas will be Monday, perhaps lasting into Tuesday. Those impacts range from a heavy gusty rain, to a glancing blow from a hurricane, to a direct hit from a major hurricane.

Early estimates of rainfall are for 5-8 inches of rain along the Grand Strand and in the Pee Dee. Lesser rain amounts would be to the north. The strongest winds will be close to the track of the center of the storm, and it is still to early to pin down an exact track, but tropical storm force winds are possible early Monday morning through Monday night. If the center of the storm stays west of our area, tornadoes will be possible on Monday. A track to the west will also bring a storm surge and coastal flooding to the Grand Strand. The highest storm surge will be closer to where the storm makes landfall, but even landfall near Savannah can bring a large storm surge to the Grand Strand. If the center stays over land in Florida and Georgia, the risk for a storm surge will be lower.

Fluctuations in the forecast track are likely in the next few days which could bring big changes in the storm impacts.

5 pm Thursday, Sept. 7th Update

Hurricane Irma continues to be a large, dangerous category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 175 mph. There has been a pretty significant westward shift in the official track from the National Hurricane Center. The track would now keep the center of the storm over the peninsula of Florida without it moving back over open ocean. This would weaken the storm significantly as it moved north. The cone, however still includes much of the South Carolina coastline and it is still very possible that the track shifts back east. This will all depend on WHEN Irma makes an abrupt turn north. Impacts are still likely in South and North Carolina. Rain, wind storm surge and tornadoes are all possible impacts from a tropical system but the extent of the impacts are not clear at this time.

As of Thursday at 5 p.m., Irma was located about 40 miles S of Grand Turk Island. The storm is moving to the WNW at 16 mph.

Hurricane Watches and Storm Surge Watches are now in effect for portions of the Florida Peninsula and will likely be expanded with upcoming advisories.

Hurricane Irma will continue to move to the WNW through at least Saturday. Irma will move through the Southeastern Bahamas this evening and near the Central Bahamas Friday. Some fluctuations in strength are possible over the next two days, but Irma is expected to impact South Florida as a major category 4 hurricane.

Tropical storm force winds are expected to arrive in South Florida Friday night. Here in the Carolinas, they could arrive by Sunday night into Monday morning.

Irma’s current WNW track is being steered by a large area of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean. Over the weekend, Irma will come to the edge of this steering flow, and will be drawn northward by a dip in the jet stream over the eastern United States.

The big question on who else will be impacted by Irma will depend on when and where the high pressure will stop pushing Irma, and the dip in the jet stream will start to draw the storm northward.

If this happens on Saturday, then Irma may just brush the east coast of Florida and would pose a threat of a stronger storm impacting the Carolinas. If the turn north waits until Sunday, then Irma could pass through the Straits of Florida before turning north. This path would bring the storm over land in Florida, which would weaken the storm before possible moving toward the Carolinas.

Any impacts from Irma on the Carolinas would begin early Monday, perhaps lasting into Tuesday. Those impacts range from breezy conditions with some periods of heavy rain, to a glancing blow from a hurricane, to a direct hit from a major hurricane. If the center makes landfall south of the Grand Strand, impacts could also include tornadoes and storm surge.

There are still lots of questions to be answered about Hurricane Irma, and plenty of time to react in case it heads our way. Our weather will be beautiful today and into the weekend so now is the time to go through your hurricane plan and make sure you are ready for a storm if it heads our way.

2 pm Thursday, Sept. 7th Update

Hurricane Irma continues to be a large, dangerous category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 175 mph.

As of Thursday at 2 p.m., Irma was located about 70 miles SE of Grand Turk Island. The storm is moving to the WNW at 16 mph.

Hurricane Watches and Storm Surge Watches are now in effect for portions of the Florida Peninsula.

Hurricane Irma will continue to move to the WNW for the next couple of days. Irma will move through the Southeastern Bahamas this evening and near the Central Bahamas Friday. Some fluctuations in strength are possible over the next two days, but Irma is expected to impact Florida as a major category 4 hurricane. The official track keeps it a major hurricane through Monday and includes the entire South Carolina coastline and some portions of North Carolina. The path the center of the storm takes can be anywhere inside that cone.

Tropical storm force winds are expected to arrive in South Florida Friday night. Here in the Carolinas, they could arrive by Sunday night into Monday morning.

Irma’s current WNW track is being steered by a large area of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean. Over the weekend, Irma will come to the edge of this steering flow, and will be drawn northward by a dip in the jet stream over the eastern United States.

The big question on who else will be impacted by Irma will depend on when and where the high pressure will stop pushing Irma, and the dip in the jet stream will start to draw the storm northward.

If this happens on Saturday, then Irma may just brush the east coast of Florida and would pose a threat of a stronger storm impacting the Carolinas. If the turn north waits until Sunday, then Irma could pass through the Straits of Florida before turning north. This path would bring the storm over land in Florida, which would weaken the storm before possible moving toward the Carolinas.

Any impacts from Irma on the Carolinas would be Monday, perhaps lasting into Tuesday. Those impacts range from breezy conditions with some periods of heavy rain, to a glancing blow from a hurricane, to a direct hit from a major hurricane. If the center makes landfall south of the Grand Strand, impacts could also include tornadoes and storm surge.

There are still lots of questions to be answered about Hurricane Irma, and plenty of time to react in case it heads our way. Our weather will be beautiful today and into the weekend so now is the time to go through your hurricane plan and make sure you are ready for a storm if it heads our way.

6am Thursday, Sept 7th Update:

Hurricane Irma continues to be a large, dangerous category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 180 mph.

As of Thursday at 5 a.m., Irma was located about 50 miles NNE of Dominican Republic. The storm is moving to the WNW at 17 mph.

Hurricane watches are in effect for the northwestern Bahamas and much of Cuba. Irma is likely to bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall to portions of these areas on Friday and Saturday.

Hurricane Irma will continue to move to the WNW for the next couple of days, taking the storm away from Puerto Rico this morning, impacting the Dominican Republic and Haiti today and then near the Turks and Caicos Islands and Southeast Bahamas later Thursday night. Some fluctuations in strength are possible over the next two days, but Irma is expected to remain a dangerous category 5 hurricane for the rest of this week.

 

At some point over the weekend, Irma should make a turn to the north, possibly toward Florida, possibly making landfall in Miami. Tropical storm force winds could start in southern Florida as soon as Friday night.

Irma’s current WNW track is being steered by a large area of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean. Over the weekend, Irma will come to the edge of this steering flow, and will be drawn northward by a dip in the jet stream over the eastern United States.

The big question on who else will be impacted by Irma will depend on when and where the high pressure will stop pushing Irma, and the dip in the jet stream will start to draw the storm northward.

If this happens on Saturday, then Irma may just brush the east coast of Florida and would pose a threat of a stronger storm impacting the Carolinas. If the turn north waits until Sunday, then Irma could pass through the Straits of Florida before turning north. This path would bring the storm over land in Florida, which would weaken the storm before possible moving toward the Carolinas.

Any impacts from Irma on the Carolinas would be Monday, perhaps lasting into Tuesday. Those impacts range from breezy conditions with some periods of heavy rain, to a glancing blow from a hurricane, to a direct hit from a major hurricane.

There are still lots of questions to be answered about Hurricane Irma, and plenty of time to react in case it heads our way. Our weather will be beautiful today and into the weekend so now is the time to go through your hurricane plan and make sure you are ready for a storm.

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11pm Wednesday, Sept 6 – 

Hurricane Irma continues to be a large, dangerous category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 185 mph. Irma is one of the strongest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic.

As of 8pm, Irma was located about 85 miles NNW of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The storm is moving to the WNW at 16 mph.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra; the northern coasts of Dominican Republic and Haiti; Central & Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hurricane Watches could be issued for Florida Thursday morning.

Hurricane Irma will continue to move to the WNW for the next couple of days, taking the storm away from Puerto Rico tonight, near or just north of Dominican Republic Thursday and near the Turks and Caicos Islands and Southeast Bahamas Thursday night. Some fluctuations in strength are possible over the next two days, but Irma is expected to remain a dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane.

At some point over the weekend, Irma should make a turn to the north, possibly toward Florida. Tropical storm force winds could start in southern Florida as soon as Friday night.

Irma’s current WNW track is being steered by a large area of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean. Over the weekend, Irma will come to the edge of this steering flow, and will be drawn northward by a dip in the jet stream over the eastern United States.

The big question on who else will be impacted by Irma will depend on when and where the high pressure will stop pushing Irma, and the dip in the jet stream will start to draw the storm northward.

If this happens on Saturday, then Irma may just brush the east coast of Florida, and would pose a threat of a stronger storm impacting the Carolinas. If the turn north waits until Sunday, then Irma could pass through the Straits of Florida before turning north. This path would bring the storm over land in Florida, which would weaken the storm before possible moving toward the Carolinas.

Any impacts from Irma on the Carolinas would be Monday, perhaps lasting into Tuesday. Those impacts range from nothing (if the storm completely misses us – which is possible), to a glancing blow from a hurricane, to a direct hit from a major hurricane.

There are still lots of questions to be answered about Hurricane Irma, and plenty of time to react in case it heads our way. Now is the time to go through your hurricane plan and make sure you are ready for a storm.

5am Wednesday, Sept 6 – 

Hurricane Irma continues to be a large, dangerous category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 185 mph. Irma is one of the strongest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic. As of 5 a.m. Wednesday, the eye of potentially catastrophic category 5 Hurricane Irma was moving away from Barbuda and towards St. Martin. The storm is moving to the WNW at 16 mph. Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra and the northern Dominican coast. Hurricane Watches are in effect as far west as the Southeastern Bahamas and parts of Cuba.

 

On Wednesday, Irma will move through the Virgin Islands and will impact Puerto Rico. On Thursday, the storm will pass close to Hispaniola, and Thursday night and Friday the hurricane could be impacting the southeast Bahamas and eastern Cuba.

Beyond Saturday, there is still some questions when Irma will make that turn north. Overnight model runs have shifted the storms track farther east, heading up the east side of Florida and up to the South Carolina Coast. The latest model thinking is that the high pressure that has been steering Irma will break down towards the weekend helping Irma to make a sharp turn north near Miami, Florida. This latest shift in the track could have major impacts to our area come Monday and Tuesday of Next week. But again, it is really all based on that turn. Confidence is growing we’ll see some impacts from Irma.

The long term forecast for Irma is still in doubt, but it does appear that the storm will impact the United States.

11pm Tuesday, Sept 5 – 

Hurricane Irma continues to be a large, dangerous category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 185 mph. Irma is one of the strongest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic.

As of 11pm, Irma was located about 50 miles east of Barbuda in the Leeward Islands. The storm is moving to the WNW at 15 mph. Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra and the northern Dominican coast. Hurricane Watches are in effect as far west as the Southeastern Bahamas and parts of Cuba.

Hurricane Irma is expected to move to the WNW tonight, taking the storm over the northeast Leeward Islands tonight and early tomorrow. On Wednesday, Irma will move through the Virgin Islands, and will impact Puerto Rico. On Thursday, the storm will pass close to Hispaniola, and Thursday night and Friday the hurricane could be impacting the southeast Bahamas and eastern Cuba.

The long term forecast for Irma is still in doubt, but it does appear that the storm will impact the United States, with Florida it’s most likely target. Tropical storm force winds could start in southern Florida Friday night.

Irma will continue on a WNW track through Saturday or Sunday. It is being steered by a large area of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean. Over the weekend, Irma will come to the edge of this steering flow, and will be drawn northward by a dip in the jet stream over the eastern United States.

The big question on who else will be impacted by Irma will depend on when and where the high pressure will stop pushing Irma, and the dip in the jet stream will start to draw the storm northward.

If this happens on Saturday, then Irma may just brush the east coast of Florida, and would pose a threat of a stronger storm impacting the Carolinas. If the turn north waits until Sunday, then Irma could pass through the Straits of Florida before turning north. This path would bring the storm over land in Florida, which would weaken the storm before possible moving toward the Carolinas.

Any possible impacts from Irma on the Carolinas would be Monday or Tuesday. Those impacts range from nothing (if the storm completely misses us – which is possible), to a glancing blow from a hurricane, to a direct hit from a major hurricane.

There are still lots of questions to be answered about Hurricane Irma, and plenty of time to react in case it heads our way. Now is the time to go through your hurricane plan and make sure you are ready for a storm.

11am Tuesday, Sept 5 – 

The latest Hurricane Irma update has been issued by the National Hurricane Center. The center reports that Irma is the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in National Hurricane Center (NHC) records.

New hurricane watches have been issued for the Turks and Caicos Islands, SE Bahamas and the north coast of Haiti, reports the NHC.

The latest update says Irma’s winds are up to 180 mph and the system is moving in a westward direction at about 14 mph.

Below is a detailed explanation on everything we know about Hurricane Irma as of Tuesday morning. Whether you are nervous or just curious, we encourage you to be informed about this storm.

Current Irma Takeaways
1. Confidence is growing that U.S. will see impacts.
2. Carolina impacts possible, Florida impacts likely.
3. Have a plan and be ready to implement if needed.
4. Rough seas and rip currents likely by Saturday.
5. Inform yourself with the newest facts below.


What We Do Know 

Hurricane Irma was upgraded to a category 5 storm Tuesday around 8:10 a.m. approaching the Leeward Islands. It is forecast to strengthen a bit more moving into the Caribbean Islands. Reports from NOAA and U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate Irma continues to strengthen and maximum sustained winds have increased to near 175 mph. The National Hurricane Center reports some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days. 

Confidence is higher this morning, (Tuesday)  with impacts to Florida by the early weekend. This is slightly better news for the Carolinas but we have several days ahead with changes in the forecast still likely. Irma will take a hard right turn to the North at some point at the end of this week. Impacts will become clearer for the Carolinas when we have a better idea on WHEN the turn will happen.

An earlier turn would have larger impacts to the Carolinas than a later turn. Regardless, impacts to the Carolinas are still possible by the end of the weekend.

US Impacts               

Impacts are likely in Florida by Friday and Saturday. Irma will likely be a major hurricane during landfall but it is still too early to say where exactly this may be. Impacts in the Carolinas could be felt as early as Sunday or Monday. A sooner turn will bring worse impacts to the Carolinas in terms of wind and rain. Lesser impacts will be felt here the later the turn comes. High seas and rip currents are likely along the entire coast regardless of where the storm tracks.  You should be checking your hurricane supply kit and your evacuation plans and have them ready to implement if that time comes. A detailed list of things you can do now is put together below.

What You Should Do Today 

It only takes one hurricane to come in and change your livelihood as we have seen in Texas. Here is a list of a few things you can do to start preparing today.

  1. Have an emergency supply kit for you and your family. A great example can be found here: Build a Kit
  2. Trim low hanging, weak or dead limbs/trees around your home.
  3. Be informed on your evacuation zones and shelters in your region.
  4. Have hurricane proof shutters for windows on your home.
  5. Check in often with WBTW for updates on the track. We’ll let you know if any action needs to be taken.

 

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