Irma is now a dangerous Category 5 hurricane, moving toward the west near 14 mph. This general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest tonight. On the forecast track, the dangerous core of Irma will move near or over portions of the northern Leeward Islands tonight and early Wednesday.
Reports from NOAA and U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate Irma continues to strengthen and maximum sustained winds have increased to near 175 mph with higher gusts. Irma is an extremely dangerous 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 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
A large portion of South Florida is in the 5-day forecast cone. It is imperative that residents pay attention to local news media and maintain awareness of the storm’s movement. Take time today to secure your home and stock up on emergency supplies like non-perishable food, water, batteries, and flashlights.
- Monitor storm progress at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- Check emergency supply kits. For more information on stocking your emergency supply kit, visit http://www.hernandocounty.us/em/hurricane-checklists.
- Secure personal property.
- Relocate to higher ground if you feel unsafe. Flood waters will be capable of quick ponding on roadways.
- Coastal residents should closely monitor the progress of this system through local media outlets, the National Weather Service at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tbw/ or the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
- Mariners should expect to see small craft advisories over the weekend.
- Tide prediction data is available at