At 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said that the eye of the 'Extremely dangerous' Hurricane Irma is moving between the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hurricane Irma has killed at least 10 people and the death toll is expected to rise.
A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys.
A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.
Irma continues to be a Category 5 storm with 175 mph winds, making it the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, according to the NHC.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 7, 2017
At 2:00 p.m. the distinct eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 20.7 North, longitude 70.4 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 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, and then be near the central Bahamas by Friday.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 175 mph (280 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 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km). An unofficial observing site on Grand Turk recentlyreported a sustained wind of 54 mph (87 km/h) and a gust to 66 mph (106 km/h).
The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force plane was 922 mb (27.23 inches).
On Wednesday morning, Hurricane Katia formed in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Supply Kit Checklist | Things to know before the storm | Preparations for your pets | Power outage maps & resources | Know your evacuation zone | Price gouging: How to protect yourself and report it | Insurance protection: Video tape home inventory | Tampa Bay sandbag locations | Find a hurricane shelter near you | Hurricane Irma Emergency Phone Numbers
A Storm Surge Watch is currently in effect for:
- Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach
- Florida Keys
Hurricane Warnings are currently in effect for:
- Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti
- Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas
- Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands
- Central Bahamas
- Northwestern Bahamas
A Hurricane Watch is currently in effect for:
- Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita
- Florida Keys
- Lake Okeechobee
- Florida Bay
- Cuba from Matanzas province eastward to Guantanamo province
A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect for:
- Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engano westward to the southern border with Haiti
- Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince
- Cuba provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Villa Clara province
Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in Cuba by Friday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin within the warning area in Cuba Thursday night.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm- force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
The impact for the United States is still very unclear. In fact, there is still a chance that Irma could turn out to sea without even touching the U.S.
However, there is also a chance that Irma could have an impact anywhere from Florida to the Carolinas by this weekend or early next week.
The National Weather Service says there is an increasing chance of seeing some impacts from Irma in the Florida Peninsula and Florida Keys later this week and this weekend.
Florida residents need to pay close attention to this storm and be thinking about having a plan ready if necessary.
As we continue to monitor Hurricane Irma, families should make sure their Disaster Supply Kits are ready today. https://t.co/ymXjrTHewW
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) September 3, 2017
The combination of a life-threatening 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.