Hurricane Irma, currently hammering the north coast of Cuba, is now less than 24 hours from a potentially catastrophic Category 4 or 5 hurricane strike on Florida, the state’s strongest hurricane strike since Charley 13 years ago.
The center of Irma is located about 250 miles south-southeast of Miami, Florida, and is moving west-northwest around 10 to 15 mph.
Irma made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane late Friday night along the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba. That track near the north coast of Cuba has had some effect on Irma’s intensity, but that is largely expected to be academic relative to Irma’s future impact on Florida.
Hurricane warnings now extend as far north as the Flagler/Volusia County line on the Atlantic side, and up to Citrus County, Florida on the Gulf side. Included in the hurricane warnings are the Florida Keys, Naples, Ft. Myers, the Tampa/St. Petersburg metro, Miami, and West Palm Beach.
Hurricane warnings also continue in the central and northwest Bahamas and a part of the north coast of Cuba. Hurricane warnings mean either hurricane conditions are occurring, or are expected to occur within 36 hours.
A hurricane watch is also in effect for portions of north Florida, including the Jacksonville metro area. A watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
A storm surge warning has also been issued from the Volusia/Brevard County Line around the peninsula to Citrus County, including the Florida Keys and Tampa Bay. A storm surge watch is in effect from north of the Volusia/Brevard County line to the Volusia/Flagler County line on the east coast and on the west coast from north of Citrus County to the Suwannee River.
Copyright 2017 SW Florida Reporter