Florida’s southwest coast is getting ready for Hurricane Irma while watching the track of this dangerous hurricane. Here are the basics as of 5 am Wednesday. Irma was located near 17.9 North, 62.6 West, and was moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds were 185 miles per hour. Irma remains an extremely powerful category 5 hurricane. Hurricane warnings are up for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern Bahamas. A hurricane watch went into effect for the central Bahamas early Wednesday, and watches are likely for portions of Florida later in the day.
A word about the National Hurricane Center’s track forecast early Wednesday. It has shifted eastward, in response to a marked eastward shift in many of the computer models overnight. While the day 4 and 5 track looks slightly less ominous for the southwest Gulf coast, realize that it could shift again, based on subsequent model runs. The lesson: don’t try to anticipate a hurricane’s exact path several days in advance, because the data will change. Continue preparations to protect yourself and your property, and follow official instructions concerning evacuations. We’re looking at weather conditions that will be unsafe for travel from late on Friday through the weekend and into Monday.
Here at home, we’re forecasting a hot day on Wednesday, with some afternoon storms developing in spots. Highs on Wednesday will be in the low 90s, but it will feel well over 100 degrees, so stay hydrated as you go about your hurricane preparations.
The heat continues on Friday, and that is expected to be the last opportunity to put up panel shutters. But we’ll see periods of rain and gusty winds beginning on Friday night. Friday’s highs will be in the low 90s.Click here for reuse options!
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