This is one of those posts I wish I didn’t have to make. Dr. Ryan Maue, hurricane expert and friend of WUWT has advised us that the worst case scenario is going to happen for Florida:
No longer any spread or uncertainty about landfall of Hurricane
#Irma … this is happening for sure, unfortunately.
He’s referring to this collection of forecast model paths:
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) concurs:
The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore says:
— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) September 8, 2017
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 22.1 North, longitude 76.5 West. 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.
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 to continue during the next day or two, and Irma is expected 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 estimated minimum central pressure is 925 mb (27.32 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous 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…
SW Florida from Captiva to Cape Sable…8 to 12 ft
Cape Sable to Boca Raton including the Florida Key…5 to 10 ft
Venice to Captiva…5 to 8 ft
Anclote River to Venice including Tampa Bay…3 to 5 ft
Boca Raton to Flagler/Volusia County line…3 to 6 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS by the following amounts within the hurricane warning area near and to the
north of the center of Irma. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
Southeastern and central Bahamas…15 to 20 ft
Northwestern Bahamas…5 to 10 ft
Northern coast of Cuba in the warning area…5 to 10 ft
WIND: Hurricane conditions are still occurring in portions of the southeastern and Central Bahamas. Hurricane conditions are expected to continue within the hurricane warning area along the north coast of Cuba through Saturday. Hurricane conditions are expected in the northwestern Bahamas tonight and Saturday, and in portions of southern and central Florida and the Florida Keys Saturday night or early Sunday.
Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area in central and north Florida by Sunday, with tropical storm conditions possible by late Saturday.
RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Tuesday night:
Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Turks and Caicos…additional 1 to 3 inches.
Southern Bahamas and northern Cuba…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Southern Cuba…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
Jamaica…1 to 2 inches.
The Florida Keys, much of the Florida peninsula, and southeast Georgia…8 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Western and Northern Florida peninsula from Tampa northward…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
Rest of Eastern Georgia, western South Carolina, and Western North Carolina…4 to 7 inches.
Western Georgia, eastern and northern Alabama, and southern Tennessee…2 to 5 inches.
In all areas this rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods and, in some areas, mudslides.
TORNADOES: A few tornadoes will be possible beginning Saturday morning across south Florida.
SURF: Swells generated by Irma are affecting the southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, and should start affecting portions of the southeast coast of the United States tonight. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
Best wishes to all, we hope for the best possible outcome under the worst possible circumstances.