At 7:00 AM CDT, the center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 24.5 North, longitude 81.5 West. Irma is moving toward the north-northwest near 8 mph, and 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.
Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph with higher gusts. Irma is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. While weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane while it moves through the Florida Keys and near the west coast of Florida.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 miles. A wind gust to 89 mph was recently measured at the Key West National Weather Service Forecast Office.Sustained winds of 46 mph with a gust to 72 mph was recently reported at Tamiami Airport in West Kendall, Florida.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
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.
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to continue within the hurricane warning area along the north coast of Cuba through this morning. Hurricane conditions are spreading across portions of
the Florida Keys and southern Florida. Winds affecting the upper floors of high-rise buildings will be significantly stronger than those near ground-level. Tropical storm and hurricane conditions are expected to spread northward across the remainder of the warning areas through Monday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in the Northwestern Bahamas today.
RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Wednesday:
The Florida Keys...15 to 20 inches, isolated 25 inches.
The southern Florida peninsula...10 to 15 inches, isolated 20
The remainder of the Florida peninsula and southeast Georgia...8 to
12 inches, isolated 16 inches.
The rest of Georgia, eastern Florida Panhandle, southern and western
South Carolina, and western North Carolina...3 to 6 inches, isolated
Eastern Alabama and southern Tennessee...2 to 5 inches.
In all areas this rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods and, in some areas, mudslides.
TORNADOES: Tornadoes are possible through tonight, mainly across southern, central, and eastern portions of the Florida Peninsula.