Hurricane Irma Strengthens to Category 4 Again, Impacting Florida Keys

Posted at 6:08 AM, Sep 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-10 06:06:50-04


2 AM SUNDAY UPDATE --  Hurricane Irma has re-intensified to a category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph, tracking NW at 6 mph. Irma is currently heading closer to the Florida Keys, where landfall is expected by sunrise. Full track advisory at 5 am. 

11 PM SATURDAY UPDATE -- Hurricane Irma remains a category 3 hurricane with winds still at 120 mph. The storm is moving to the northwest at 6 mph and is 90 n miles southeast of Key West. Irma is expected to remain a category 3 as it moves into Southwest Florida.

8 PM SATURDAY UPDATE -- Hurricane Irma remains a category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph, a slight decrease since the last update, move west northwest at 7 mph. Irma remains weaker due to land interaction with Cuba. However, it is expect to strengthen again as it moves north over warmer waters before impacting Southwest Florida.

5 PM SATURDAY UPDATE -- Hurricane Irma remains a category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph, moving west northwest at 9 mph. Irma remains weaker now due to land interaction with Cuba. However, it is expected to strengthen again as it continues turning north and before impacting Southwest Florida.

2PM SATURDAY UPDATE -- The National Hurricane Center reports Hurricane Irma remains a Category 3 Hurricane but major hurricane force winds are expected over the Florida Keys at daybreak.

Irma is currently lingering over the North coast of Cuba with winds of 125 mph. The entire Florida peninsula is under a Hurricane Warning.

A Storm Surge Warning has been extended from Chassahowitzka to the Suwanee River.

A Storm Surge Watch has been extended from north of the Suwanee River to Ochlockonee River and from north of the Volusia/Brevard County line north to Isle of Palms, South Carolina.

The Hurricane Warning for the east coast of the United States has been extended northward to Fernandina Beach, and the Hurricane Watch has been extended from north of Fernandina Beach to Edisto Beach.

The Hurricane Warning for the Gulf of Mexico coast has been extended to the Aucilla River.  The Hurricane Watch is now in effect from west of the Aucilla River to Indian Pass.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from north of Edisto Beach to the South Santee River.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from west of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line.

The government of Cuba has extended the Hurricane Warning to the Havana province.

The government of the Bahamas has adjusted the Hurricane Warning to only include Andros Island, Bimini and Grand Bahama.

11 AM SATURDAY UPDATE: Hurricane Irma weakened again to a category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds. It's expected to strengthen as it moves towards Florida.

8AM SATURDAY UPDATE: Hurricane Irma weakened to 130 mph winds while over the northern coast of Cuba, but it is forecast to restrengthen over the warm Caribbean waters while track toward the Florida Peninsula. 

Right now Hurricane Irma is tracking west at 12 mph with a turn to the northwest expected later today. On the current track, the core of Irma will reach the Florida Keys by tomorrow morning. 

Tropical Storm force winds will arrive in SWFL as early as this evening, with hurricane conditions expected by early tomorrow. The main threats to our area at this point are life-threatening storm surge, flash flooding, hurricane force winds, and even the threat for tornadoes as Irma tracks north. 

5AM SATURDAY UPDATE: The National Hurricane Center says Irma has weakened slightly to a Category 4 hurricane, as it moves over the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba.
Irma had briefly regained Category 5 strength late Friday, but now has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (249 kph). The hurricane is about 245 miles (394 kilometers) from Miami and moving about 12 mph (19.3 kph) toward the west-northwest.
In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 hurricane, about 190 miles (306 kilometers) east-southeast of The Northern Leeward Islands, moving toward the islands at 13 mph (20.92 kph) with winds reaching 150 mph.
In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia made landfall late Friday north of Tecolutla, Mexico and weakened to a tropical storm. By early Saturday morning it was 135 miles (217 kilometers) south of Tampico, Mexico, moving sluggishly at only 2 mph (3.2 kph) near the Sierra Madre Mountains with maximum winds of 40 mph (64.4 kph). It was expected to weaken further throughout the day.


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