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Irma leaves behind Major Damage And Flooding For Parts of Jacksonville
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Irma leaves behind Major Damage And Flooding For Parts of Jacksonville

Irma leaves behind Major Damage And Flooding For Parts of Jacksonville
Mike Zaccardi on twitter

Irma leaves behind Major Damage And Flooding For Parts of Jacksonville

Update Monday 11am: The center of Tropical Storm Irma was located near latitude 30.3 North, longitude 83.1 West. Irma is moving toward the north-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue through Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move into southwestern Georgia later today, and move into eastern Alabama Tuesday morning.


Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Continued slow weakening is forecast, and Irma is likely to become a tropical depression on Tuesday. Irma remains a large tropical cyclone. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 415 miles (665 km) from the center. A 60 mph (96 km/h) sustained wind and a 69 mph (111 km/h) gust was recently reported at the National Data Buoy Center C-MAN station in St. Augustine. 

Update Monday 10am: Irma has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm. There are a lot of reports of flooding around Jacksonville, The Jacksonville Sheriffs Office is asking people to remain inside. As the sun comes up in Jacksonville we’re starting to see the true impact of Irma’s damage. We have set up a gallery of the photos that you are sending in (only send/take a picture if you can safely do so). See the photos here

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Flooding in St. Augustine

Photo Credit: Action News Jax

Rich Jones talked with John Ward about flooding in the Black Creek Area --- Listen here

 Update Monday 6am: Power outages are growing in quantity as windy conditions and relentless rain continue to batter the First Coast.  There are a few estimates floating around, but the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is saying the number far eclipses 200,000


We spoke to Bill Orlove from Florida Power and Light to find out when his teams will begin the recovery phase:

Update Monday 5am: The center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 28.9 North, longitude 82.6 West. Irma is moving toward the north-northwest near 18 mph and this motion is expected to continue through Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move near the northwestern coast of the Florida Peninsula this morning, cross the eastern Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia this afternoon, and move through southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama tonight and Tuesday.  

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Irma Downgraded To Category 1; Still A Large Dangerous System

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 75 mph with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast, and Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm this morning and to a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon. Irma has a very large wind field. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles mainly to the west of the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 415 miles.

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Irma Downgraded To Category 1; Still A Large Dangerous System

 As the storm makes it’s escape from Florida, we still are faced with a large flood threat across our area. We are hearing from multiple people who had harrowing experience with ponding water, including this call we recieved from Jeff in Orange Park:

Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh checked in with us as well to really dig into the 5am update from the National Hurricane Center. He says the flood threat is very real, especially downtown as the tides return this afternoon:

Update Monday 4am: We’ve reached the peak time for tornado warnings to roll through the area as Irma continues her approach into, and past North Florida. Since we began our wall-to-wall coverage on Sunday, we’ve reported on just over a half-dozen tornado warnings in our listening area. 

One of those warnings was for a possible tornado that ripped through the Fernandina Beach area. Jeff is a resident there, and phoned in to our special coverage to tell us what he heard before a tree fell through his roof:

 

Update Monday 3am: We’ve just received word from Clay County officials that the North and South Prongs of Black Creek are rising much faster than originally forecasted. In fact, the South Prong just reached major flood stage. If Clay County residents along Black Creek have not taken action yet, officials are asking when conditions are safe to relocate to a higher place or a shelter.

 

Shelters that are currently open can be found at Clay High School, Orange Park High School, Wilkinson Elementary School, and Keystone Heights High School. For any questions about this advisory, please call 904-284-7703.

Update Monday 2am: The center of Hurricane Irma was located by NOAA Doppler radar and surface observations near latitude 28.2 North, longitude 82.2 West. Irma is moving toward the north- northwest near 15 mph. A turn toward the northwest at a faster forward speed is expected during the next day or so. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will continue to move over the western Florida peninsula through this morning and then into the southeastern United States late today and Tuesday.  

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Irma Downgraded To Category 1; Still A Large Dangerous System

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 85 mph with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast, and Irma is expected to become a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia later today. Irma has a very large wind field. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center, and tropical-storm- force winds extend outward up to 415 miles. 

The National Ocean Service station at the Clearwater Beach Pier recently reported a wind gust of 88 mph, and wind gusts of hurricane force have been recently reported at the Orlando International and the Orlando Executive airports.

We’ve also heard from a woman who rode out the storm in her home in central Florida where Irma’s eye has just finished ravaging. She took a few minutes to check in with Rich Jones and WOKV Hurricane Expert Steve Letro to recap her journey:

Jane In Bartow

Topics: Rich Jones and WOKV Hurricane Expert Steve Letro talk to a central Florida resident about her journey near the eye of Hurricane Irma

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Update Monday 1am: As Irma continues to work up the spine of the state, we’re already seeing widespread power outages across our listening area. Just over 113,000 customers are currently without power across JEA, Florida Power & Light, and Clay Electric. 

Power customers aren’t the only folks who are in the dark though. If you were planning on flying in or out of the state today, those plans have been seriously hampered by this major storm:


As a matter of fact, throughout the entire day on Sunday we were seeing people stranded in one way or another, including this scuba diver who attempted to ride out the storm on his boat, and ended up needing to be rescued.

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Irma leaves behind Major Damage And Flooding For Parts of Jacksonville

Update Monday 12am: Don’t let your guard down! The NOAA advisory at 12am seems to have reported a slight shift inland/eastward. The folks in Tampa fearing Irma’s most damaging winds can now breathe a slight sigh of relief but the communities in between there and Orlando are now firmly in the sights of Irma’s eyewall. 

Experts expect that the storm will now live over land for the entirety of the system. This will continue to shear and weaken the the storm as it continues it’s north-northwest track at it’s current 14mph pace.  

Update Sunday 11pm: The center of Hurricane Irma was located by NOAA Doppler radar near latitude 27.5 North, longitude 81.9 West. Irma is moving toward the north near 14 mph. A turn toward the north-northwest and then northwest at a faster forward speed is expected during the next day or so. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will continue to move over the western Florida peninsula through Monday morning and then into the southeastern United States late Monday and Tuesday.  

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Irma leaves behind Major Damage And Flooding For Parts of Jacksonville

Doppler radar data indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 100 mph with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast, and Irma is expected to become a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia on Monday. Irma has a very large wind field. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center, and tropical-storm- force winds extend outward up to 415 miles.

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Irma’s eyewall now battering Fort Myers as storm creeps closer to North Florida  

Update Sunday 8pm:  The center of Hurricane Irma was located  by NOAA Doppler radar near latitude 26.7 North, longitude 81.7 West.  Irma is moving toward the north near 14 mph, and a  north-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is  expected by tonight, with that motion continuing through Monday.


 

On  the forecast track, the eye of Irma should move near or over the  west coast of the Florida Peninsula through Monday morning. Irma  should then move inland over northern Florida and southwestern  Georgia Monday afternoon.    Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 105 mph  with higher gusts. Although weakening is forecast, Irma is expected  to remain a hurricane at least through Monday morning.    Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from  the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220  miles .

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Irma’s eyewall now battering Fort Myers as storm creeps closer to Northeast Florida  

Way to the north of the center of Irma in St. Johns county, officials have shut down the majority of bridges in the county. Read the list of specific bridges that are now shut down by clicking here.
We grabbed WOKV hurricane expert Steve Letro to talk all things hurricanes, including the shutting down of bridges, during our Facebook Live chat. Watch that below:

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Irma leaves behind Major Damage And Flooding For Parts of Jacksonville

 

Update Sunday 5pm:  The center of Hurricane Irma was located  near latitude 26.2 North, longitude 81.8 West. Irma is moving toward  the north near 14 mph, and a north-northwestward motion  with an increase in forward speed is expected by tonight, with that  motion continuing through Monday. On the forecast track, the eye of  Irma should move near or over the west coast of the Florida  Peninsula through Monday morning. Irma should then move inland over  northern Florida and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon. 

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Irma leaves behind Major Damage And Flooding For Parts of Jacksonville

Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph with higher gusts. Although weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a hurricane at least through Monday morning. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 miles. A mesonet site at Naples Municipal Airport recently reported a sustained wind of 88 mph with a gust to 135 mph while in the northern eyewall of Irma. 

Update Sunday 2pm: The center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 25.6 North, longitude 81.8 West. Irma is moving toward the north near 12 mph (19 km/h), and a north-northwestward motion with a further increase in forward speed is expected later today, with that motion continuing through Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma should move near or over the southwest and 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 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. While weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane while it moves near or along the west coast of Florida. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 miles (350 km). A 62 mph (100 km/h) sustained wind and 99 mph (158 km/h) gust was recently reported at the Federal Aviation Administration station at Miami International Airport. An 81 mph (130 km/h) wind gust was recently reported at the Miami Weather Forecast Office/National Hurricane Center.

Update Sunday 11am: 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.

NOAA Satellites are capturing a lot images of this major land-falling hurricane, updating us as they get the information back at their headquarters:


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 near or along 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 120 mph gust was recently reported at the National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key. A sustained wind of 62 mph with a gust of 94 mph was reported at the Federal Aviation Administration station at Miami International Airport. That’s nothing new to the folks at MIA as they’ve been dealing with gusty winds for hours:


Locally, Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we shouldn’t expect to feel the real nasty stuff until later tonight, but we’ve still got Nor’easter conditions outside:

Mike Buresh 11am Update on Hurricane Irma

Topics: Mike Buresh explains the 11am update on Hurricane Irma as she batters the Florida Keys and puts the west coast of Florida squarely in her sights

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LISTEN TO HURRICANE IRMA PODCAST EPISODES

Update Sunday 8am:   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 (13 km/h), 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 (215 km/h) 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 (130 km) from  the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220  miles (350 km). A wind gust to 89 mph (143 km/h) was recently  measured at the Key West National Weather Service Forecast Office.  Sustained winds of 46 mph (74 km/h) with a gust to 72 mph (117 km/h)  was recently reported at Tamiami Airport in West Kendall, Florida.    The estimated minimum central pressure is 929 mb (27.43 inches).

Update Sunday 5am:  The center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 24.1 North, longitude 81.5 West. Irma is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h). A turn toward the north- northwest and an increase in forward speed are expected later today, with that motion continuing through Monday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should move over the Lower Florida Keys in the next few hours, then move near or over the southwestern coast of the Florida Peninsula later today through tonight. Irma should then move inland over the Florida panhandle and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon. Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) 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 as it moves through the Florida Keys and and near the west coast of Florida. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 miles (350 km). The National Ocean Service station at Vaca Key Florida recently reported sustained winds of 48 mph (78 km/h) and a gust of 78 mph (126 km/h). A private anemometer at Alligator Reef Light, Florida recently reported a wind gust of 88 mph (141 km/h). The latest minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 928 mb (27.41 inches).

Update Sunday 2AM:  Hurricane Irma remains a powerful storm as it makes its way to the Florida Keys. The eye of the storm is expected to be over the keys around day break. As of the 2am update the storm is about 90 miles Southeast of Key West. The storm is back to a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 130 miles per hour moving Northwest at 6 mph. 

Update Saturday 11pm: Life threatening storm surge expected in the Florida Keys and West Coast of Florida. Irma is moving slowly northwestward away from the north coast of Cuba near 6 mph (9 km/h). A turn toward the north-northwest with an increase in forward speed is expected through late Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma is expected to cross the Lower Florida Keys Sunday morning and then move near or along the west coast of Florida Sunday afternoon through Monday morning. Irma should then move inland over the Florida panhandle and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon.

Update Saturday 8pm: Irma now has maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour, and there are heavy squalls with embedded tornadoes sweeping across South Florida. Radar loops indicate that Irma has temporarily slowed down, but the hurricane has been moving toward the west-northwest near 7 mph (11 km/h) since earlier today. A northwest motion is expected to begin tonight with a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday. On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near the north coast of Cuba during the next few hours, and should be near the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to move along or near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.

Update Saturday 5pm: The storn surge warning has been extended to include Northeast Florida. The eye of Irma is beginning to move slowly away from the coast of Xuba while weather is deteriorating in South Florida. Major hurricane force winds are expected over the Florida Keys at daybreak. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h). A northwest motion is expected to begin tonight with a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday. On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near the north coast of Cuba during the next few hours, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to move along or near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.

Update Saturday 2pm: Irma’s maximum sustained winds remain at 125 mph. She is lingering over the north coast of Cuba, and major hurricane force winds are expected over the Florida Keys at daybreak. There is no change in watches and warnings from the 11am advisory. Irma is moving just north of due west along the north coast of Cuba at near 9 mph (15 km/h). A northwest motion is expected to begin later today with a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday. On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba this afternoon, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to move along or near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.

Update Saturday 11am:  The eye of Hurricane Irma was located by a reconnaissance plane and radar near latitude 22.8 North, longitude 79.8 West. Irma is moving toward the west along the north coast of Cuba at near 9 mph (15 km/h). A northwest motion is expected to begin later today with a turn toward the north- northwest on Sunday. On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba later today, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to move along or near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.  Maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Irma is forecast to restrengthen once it moves away from Cuba, and Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km). Caibarien, Cuba recently reported a wind gust to 124 mph (200 km/h).  The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force plane was 941 mb (27.79 inches).

Update Saturday 8am:  The eye of Hurricane Irma was located by a reconnaissance plane and Cuban radars near latitude 22.6 North, longitude 79.5 West. Irma is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h), along the north coast of Cuba. A northwest motion is expected to begin later today with a turn toward the north-northwest tonight or on Sunday. On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba this morning, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to be near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.  The interaction with the terrain of Cuba has weakened the hurricane a little. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts, but Irma remains a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Irma is forecast to restrengthen once it moves away from Cuba, and Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).  The minimum central pressure reported by a reconnaissance plane was 937 mb (27.67 inches).

Update Saturday 5am:  The center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 22.5 North, longitude 78.8 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h). A turn toward the northwest is expected by late today, with a turn toward the north-northwest expected tonight or on Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move near the north coast of Cuba today, near the Florida Keys Sunday morning, and then near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.  Maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).  The estimated minimum central pressure is 930 mb (27.47 inches).

Update Friday 11pm: The east coast of Florida stretching up through Fernandina Beach is now under a hurricane watch. The hurricane warning has been extended to the Volusia/Bradford County line. Irma is again a Category 5 hurricane, moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h). A turn toward the northwest is expected by late Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move near the north coast of Cuba through Saturday, near the Florida Keys Sunday morning, and then near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.

Update Friday 8pm: Irma is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h), and a turn toward the northwest is expected by late Saturday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move near the north coast of Cuba and the central Bahamas tonight and Saturday, and be near the Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula Sunday morning.

Update Friday 5pm: Hurricane Irma will continue to bring life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to portions of the Bahamas and the north coast of Cuba, especially over the adjacent Cuban Keys, through Saturday. The interaction of the hurricane's circulation with Cuba will probably not result in any relevant change in intensity. In summary, the NHC forecast brings Irma near south Florida as a category 4 hurricane

Update Friday 5pm: Hurricane Irma will continue to bring life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to portions of the Bahamas and the north coast of Cuba, especially over the adjacent Cuban Keys, through Saturday. The interaction of the hurricane's circulation with Cuba will probably not result in any relevant change in intensity. In summary, the NHC forecast brings Irma near south Florida as a category 4 hurricane

Update Friday 2pm: The environment continues to be favorable for Hurricane Irma to maintain its category 4 status, and only unpredictable eye-wall replacement cycles could result in intensity fluctuations during the next 48 hours. The National Hurricane Center is predicting the Irma will make landfall near south Florida remaining a category 4 hurricane.  They say the interaction with land and an increase in shear should induce gradual weakening. 

Update Friday 11am: While now a Category 4 hurricane, Irma remains a powerful storm, bringing life-threatening wind, storm surge and rain to the Bahamas. The National Hurricane Center is still predicting an eventual landfall in Florida. Recent data has caused the NHC to slightly shift Hurricane Irma’s track to the west. The eye of Irma is moving west-northwest at about 14 mph. Maximum sustained wind speeds remain at 150 mph. 

Update Friday 8am:  The eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 21.8 North, longitude 74.7 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or so with a decrease in forward speed. A turn toward the northwest is expected by late Saturday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should move near the north coast of Cuba and the central Bahamas today and Saturday, and be near the Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula Sunday morning.  Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph (240 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 hurricane as it approaches Florida.  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).  The latest minimum central pressure reported by a reconnaissance plane was 927 mb (27.37 inches).

Update Friday 5am:  The eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 21.7 North, longitude 73.8 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or so with a decrease in forward speed. A turn toward the northwest is expected by late Saturday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move westward away from the Turks and Caicos Islands and toward the southeastern Bahamas this morning. The core of the hurricane will then move between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas during the next day or two, and be near the Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula Sunday morning.  Maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 hurricane during the next couple of days.  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).  The estimated minimum central pressure is 925 mb (27.32 inches).

Update Friday 2am:  The eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 21.5 North, longitude 73.3 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or two with a decrease in forward speed. A turn toward the northwest is expected by late Saturday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move westward away from the Turks and Caicos Islands and toward the southeastern Bahamas this morning. The core of the hurricane will then move between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas during the next day or two.  Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are now near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. 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.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 75 miles (120 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).  The minimum central pressure recently reported by the Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 925 mb (27.31 inches).

Update Thursday 11pm: Hurricane and storm surge warnings have reached Florida. A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as for the Florida Keys.  A Hurricane Warning has been issued from Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as for the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.  A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet and for the west coast of Florida north of Bonita Beach to Venice.  A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet and for the west coast of Florida north of Bonita Beach to Anna Maria Island.

Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or two with a decrease in forward speed. A turn toward the northwest is expected by late Saturday. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move westward away from the Turks and Caicos Islands and toward the southeastern Bahamas overnight. The core of the hurricane will then move between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas during the next day or two.

Update Thursday 8pm: Hurricane Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph and the eye of Irma should continue to move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and toward the southeastern Bahamas this evening. The core of the hurricane will then move between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas during the next day or two. Maximum sustained winds remain near 175 mph, but some fluctuations in intensity are likely.

Update Thursday 5pm: Hurricane Irma continues to have an impressive satellite presentation with a very distinct eye. The environment along the future track of Irma is favorable for the hurricane to maintain most of its current intensity, although some fluctuations are likely due to eyewall replacement cycles which are difficult to predict. There are no obvious reasons why Irma should not remain a powerful major hurricane for the next 3 days while it is heading for Florida or its adjacent surroundings. Thereafter, an increase in the wind shear and the interaction with land should lead to gradual weakening.

Update Thursday 2pm: Hurricane Irma remains a Category 5 storm, with maximum sustained winds at 175 mph. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days with some decrease in forward speed. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move between Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos this afternoon. The hurricane will then move across the southeastern Bahamas by this evening.

Update Thursday 11AM:  The latest track of Hurricane Irma has the eye of the storm located at latitude 20.4 North, longitude 69.7 West. The Storm is moveing West-North-West at 16 MPH with Maximum sustaned winds at 175 MPH. If the storm continues on its projected path it will be just West of Cuba by 8am Friday and right off the coast of Jacksonville Monday at 8AM. Its still expected we start to see impacts from Irma starting on Saturday. 

Update Thursday 8am:  The eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 20.1 North, longitude 69.0 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue with some decrease in forward speed for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move just north of the coast of Hispaniola today, be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by this evening, and then be near the Central Bahamas by Friday.  Maximum sustained winds remain near 180 mph (285 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. 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.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).  The latest minimum central pressure just reported by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane is 921 mb (27.20 inches).

Update Thursday 5am:   At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Irma was located  near latitude 20.0 North, longitude 68.3 West. Irma is moving toward  the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h), and this general motion is  expected to continue with some decrease in forward speed for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center should pass north of the coast of Hispaniola later today, be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by this evening, and then be near the Central Bahamas by Friday. 

Maximum sustained winds are near 180 mph (285 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. 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.   Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).  

Update Wednesday 11PM: The hurricane warning for the Virgin Islands has been discontinued. The eye of Category 5 Hurricane Irma continues passing just north of Puerto Rico.  Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will continue to pass just north of Puerto Rico tonight, pass near or just north of the coast of Hispaniola Thursday, and be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening.

Update Wednesday 8PM: The eye of Category 5 Hurricane Irma is passing just north of Puerto Rico. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will continue to pass just north of Puerto Rico tonight, pass near or just north of the coast of Hispaniola Thursday, and be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening.

Update Wednesday 5PM: The eye of Irma is now moving away from the northernmost Virgin Islands. Tropical Storm and Hurricane conditions are spreading over portions of Puerto Rico. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will pass just north of Puerto Rico tonight, pass near or just north of the coast of Hispaniola Thursday, and be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening.

Update Wednesday 2PM: The “extremely dangerous core” of Hurricane Irma is passing over the northernmost Virgin Islands. Maximum sustained winds are still 185 miles per hour, or Category 5 strength. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will continue to move over portions of the Virgin Islands during the next couple of hours, pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this afternoon or tonight, pass near or just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic Thursday, and be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas late Thursday.

Update Wednesday 11:00 am:  The eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 18.2 North, longitude 64.0 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move over portions of the Virgin Islands very soon, pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this afternoon or tonight, pass near or just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic Thursday, and be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas late Thursday.  Maximum sustained winds are near 185 mph (295 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. 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.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).  The estimated minimum central pressure is 918 mb (27.11 inches).

Update Wednesday 8:00 am:   The eye of Hurricane Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move over portions of the northern Virgin Islands today, pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this afternoon or tonight, and pass near or just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic Thursday. Maximum sustained winds remain near 185 mph (295 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. 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. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). A wind gust to 90 mph (146 km/h) was recently on the island of St. Eustatius located south of the eye of Irma. A NOAA National Ocean Service station on Barbuda reported sustained winds of 118 mph (190 km/h) with a gust to 155 mph (249 km/h) before the instrument failed earlier this morning. The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from an Air Force Reserve aircraft and earlier surface observations is 918 mb (27.11 inches). A NOAA National Ocean Service station on Barbuda reported a minimum pressure of 916.1 mb (27.05 inches) earlier this morning. 

 

Update Wednesday 5:00 a.m: The center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 17.9 North, longitude 62.6 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move over portions of the northern Leeward Islands this morning, move near or over portions of the northern Virgin Islands later today, and pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this afternoon or tonight.  Maximum sustained winds remain near 185 mph (295 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. 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.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). St. Martin recently reported a wind gust of 61 mph (98 km/h).

Update Tuesday 8:00 pm: Hurricane Irma remains a Category 5 storm, with max sustained winds at 185 mph. A turn toward the west/northwest is forecast to begin tonight.

Update Tuesday 5:00 pm: Hurricane Irma’s maximum sustained winds remain at 185 mph. The National Hurricane Center says the storm is “potentially catastrophic”, and that weather conditions over the northern Leeward Islands should be deteriorating soon. A turn to the west-northwest is forecast to begin tonight.

Update Tuesday 2:00 pm: Hurricane Irma remains a Category 5 storm. Maximum sustained winds have increased again to 185 MPH. Irma is moving toward the west near 14 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest tonight.

Update Tuesday 11:00 a.m:  Hurricane Irma remains a Category 5 storm. Maximum sustained winds are now at 180 MPH. Tropical Storm Jose has formed over the open Atlantic. Its planed to stay on a west northwest path near 13 MPH. 

Tuesday, 8:00 a.m:  Hurricane Irma is now a Category 5 Hurricane.   NOAA and Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft data indicate Hurricane Irma has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts.  

KEY MESSAGES: 

1. Irma is expected to affect the northeastern Leeward Islands as an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane, accompanied by life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall. Hurricane warnings are in effect for portions of the Leeward Islands. Preparations should be rushed to completion, as tropical-storm force winds are expected to first arrive in the hurricane warning area later today. 

2. Irma is also expected to affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as a dangerous major hurricane beginning tomorrow, with life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall. Hurricane warnings have been issued for these areas, and tropical- storm-force winds are expected to arrive in these areas by early tomorrow. 

3. Irma could directly affect Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Cuba as an extremely dangerous major hurricane later this week. Residents in these areas should monitor the progress of Irma and listen to advice given by officials. 

4. There is an increasing chance of seeing some impacts from Irma in the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys later this week and this weekend. Otherwise, it is still too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental United States. However, everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.



UPDATE Tuesday, 5:00 a.m:  Dangerous Hurricane Irma heading for the Leeward Islands with 150 MPH winds.   Irma is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. A NOAA Hurricane Hunter plane is scheduled to be in the eye of Irma within the hour. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).

UPDATE Tuesday, 2:00 a.m:  The eye of Hurricane Irma was located by an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 16.6 North, longitude 56.4 West. Irma is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest Tuesday night. 

On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move near or over portions of the northern Leeward Islands Tuesday night and early Wednesday.  Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 145 mph (235 km/h) with higher gusts. 

Irma is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional strengthening is possible during the next 48 hours.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).  

Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says Irma should be approaching Puerto Rico by Wednesday afternoon, and eventually the Florida Straits by Saturday. Mike says any local impacts from Irma could start to be felt by Saturday, and especially into Sunday and Monday.

UPDATE Monday, 5:00 p.m:  Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. The National Hurricane Center says the system is moving west/southwest at a speed of 14 mph. Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties in Florida as Irma marches on. 

Scott released this statement Friday: “Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared. I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma’s path – potentially impacting millions of Floridians. Today, given these forecasts and the intensity of this storm, I have declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and make sure resources are dispersed to local communities as we get prepared for this storm. In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared. This state of emergency allows our emergency management officials to act swiftly in the best interest of Floridians without the burden of bureaucracy or red tape. 


For the first time, Irma’s cone of uncertainty now includes South Florida and the Florida Keyes.


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