As Irma approaches Florida set to make landfall as a Category 4 or 5 hurricane its path has adjusted to the west side of Florida. Up until this after noon it had been predicted to hit almost dead center. So I suggest everyone keep an eye on this thing for any major surprises. It's going to be a major damage maker. God bless everyone,T https://www.paypal.me/THORnews @newTHOR on twitter https://www.facebook.com/thornewsgo article on the storm https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/irm... Hurricane Irma was barreling toward South Florida late Friday as a top-end Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 155 mph. Although Irma will undergo minor ups and downs in strength through Saturday, Irma’s trek over the extremely warm waters of the Florida Strait on Saturday night may give it a final upward bump in intensity. The National Hurricane Center predicted in its 5 PM EDT Friday update that Irma will approach the Florida Keys as a Category 5 storm early Sunday before making landfall Sunday afternoon along the far southwest coast of Florida. Irma represents an extreme danger to much of Southern Florida, as well as portions of northern Cuba and the southernmost Bahama Islands. If you live by the coast in an area that that been ordered to evacuate due to storm surge, get out now if you can safely do so.The Florida Keys and Southwest Florida will take the full force of the storm, with Category 4 winds driving a life-threatening storm surge of 8 - 12 feet. Although Irma is expected to track closer to the west coast of Florida than the east coast, Category 1 winds will potentially affect the east coast of Florida from Miami to West Palm Beach, and winds at or near hurricane force may extend northward across the central peninsula to the Orlando area (Figure 1.) Dangerous storm surges will affect the entire east coast of Florida, and well as Georgia and South Carolina. NHC had not yet issued a storm surge watch for the coasts of northern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as of 5 pm EDT Friday, but I expect the surge will be at least 3 - 5 feet in much of this region, which is lower than the 4 - 8 foot levels observed last October during Hurricane Matthew.If you are in a mandated evacuation zone, evacuate. These zones are created for a reason, and Irma is not a storm to be toyed with.Irma will be tracking north-northwest along the length of the Florida peninsula. The most recent consensus of models is that this track will run inland along the west side of the Florida peninsula from south to north, although it could end up just offshore or farther inland. There are no recent precedents for Irma’s expected north-northwest track. The best analog would be Hurricane Cleo (1964), which took a similar NNW track along the eastern peninsula. Cleo was a much weaker storm than Irma, though: it weakened from a Cat 2 at landfall near Miami to a tropical storm near Savannah, GA. Hurricane Donna (1960) traveled over land from the SW to NE sides of the peninsula: Donna was a Cat 4 near Marathon and still a Cat 1 when it moved back offshore at Daytona Beach.The highest risk for the worst winds is in South Florida. The very strongest winds will be in the eyewall, especially just east of Irma’s center as it moves north. If Irma comes inland across far southwest Florida, it may pass directly over Naples, and the eyewall will extend across the Everglades and perhaps as far as portions of Miami. Winds will be stronger at the upper stories of high-rise buildings, up to a full category above surface-level speeds. We can expect many windows in the Miami area that are not up to current code to be blown out. Only a slight eastward departure in track could bring the core of the most dangerous winds to the Miami area.In you live outside the evacuation zone in far South Florida, take shelter in as sturdy a building as possible. Mobile homes are not safe shelter in the winds of a major hurricane.Dangerous storm surge is expected across far South Florida, including the Naples and Miami areas, the Florida Keys, and the Everglades. There is the potential for water heights of 9 or more feet above ground level in some coastal areas from Cape Coral/Fort Myers to the Everglades, as well as along parts of Biscayne Bay. The surge may be highly variable and quickly changing along and near Biscayne Bay in the Miami area. In southwest Florida, the surge may be greatest during the southwesterly onshore winds after Irma has passed just to the north.Dangerous storm surge—possibly higher than the surge during Matthew—can be expected from northern Florida to southern South Carolina, especially along the Georgia coast (see Figure 4). The concave coastline in this area tends to concentrate storm surge. Significant surge can be expected even if Irma weakens before reaching Georgia, as there will be huge amounts of momentum in the water already set into motion by that point.
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