From Fox News:
Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history, made landfall early Wednesday in the Caribbean islands.
At the far northeastern edge of the Caribbean, authorities on the Leeward Islands of Antigua and Barbuda cut power and urged residents to shelter indoors as they braced for Hurricane Irma’s first contact with land early Wednesday. Officials warned people to seek protection from Irma’s “onslaught” in a statement that closed with: “May God protect us all.”
From USA Today:
Michel Magras, senator on the small French-speaking island of St. Barts, sent a text describing the “monster that passes over us,” FranceInfo.com reported. “It is apocalyptic, a lot of damage, a lot of roofs torn off,” he wrote.
On St. Martin, the half-French, half-Dutch island of around 80,000 people directly in the path of the storm, the relentless winds ripped off the roof of the main hospital.
Hurricane Irma strengthened as it churned toward the Caribbean amid storm warnings, watches and states of emergency in Florida and Puerto Rico — and was expected to near land late Tuesday.
With its 175 mph winds, Irma was upgraded Tuesday morning to an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 hurricane that could become even more powerful in the next two days, just as it’s forecast to reach the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center said.
ZCZC MIATCDAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
Hurricane Irma Discussion Number 27
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017
500 PM AST Tue Sep 05 2017
Irma continues to exhibit a remarkably impressive satellite
presentation. The intensity was increased to 160 kt on the 1800
UTC intermediate public advisory based on a couple of SFMR winds of
160 kt measured in the northeastern eyewall by the Air Force
aircraft just prior to that time. The minimum pressure measured
by a dropsonde in the eye was 926 mb. Irma becomes only the fifth
Atlantic basin hurricane with a peak wind speed of 160 kt or
higher. The others are Allen (1980), the Labor Day Hurricane
of 1935, Gilbert (1988), and Wilma (2005).
The eye of Irma is within range of the Meteo France radar in the
northeastern Caribbean, and recent images show the development of
an outer eyewall, likely the beginning stages of an eyewall
replacement. These changes in inner-core structure will likely
result in fluctuations in intensity during the next couple of days.
Otherwise, increasing upper-ocean heat content and a very favorable
upper-level pattern are expected to allow Irma to remain a category
4 or 5 hurricane during the next several days. Once again, the NHC
forecast shows limited interaction of the hurricane with the islands
of the Greater Antilles.
Fixes from the latest satellite and radar imagery suggest that Irma
is moving a little north of due west or 280/13 kt. A strong ridge
extending southwestward from the central Atlantic is expected to
steer Irma west-northwestward during the couple of days. A large
mid-latitude trough over the eastern United States is forecast to
lift northeastward, allowing the ridge to build westward and keep
Irma on a westward to west-northwestward heading through Friday.
Over the weekend, a shortwave trough diving southward over the
east-central U.S. is expected to weaken the western portion of
the ridge, causing Irma to turn poleward. The dynamical model
guidance is in good agreement through 72 hours, but there is
increasing spread thereafter. The HWRF, UKMET, and ECMWF show a
more southerly track and a sharper turn around day 5, while the GFS
is farther north and east late in the period. The NHC track is near
a consensus of these models and close to the HFIP corrected
consensus. Users are reminded to not focus on the exact forecast
track, especially at the longer ranges, since the average NHC track
errors are about 175 and 225 statute miles at days 4 and 5,
1. Irma is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane and will
bring life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to
portions of the northeastern Leeward Islands tonight and tomorrow.
These hazards will spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto
Rico tomorrow. Preparations should be rushed to completion before
the arrival of tropical-storm force winds tomorrow morning in Virgin
Islands and Puerto Rico.
2. A hurricane warning is in effect for the northern coast of the
Dominican Republic, with hurricane watches for Haiti, the
southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos. Irma is likely to
bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall to these areas from
Wednesday night through Friday.
3. Irma could directly affect the remainder of the Bahamas and Cuba
as an extremely dangerous major hurricane later this week. Residents
in these areas should monitor the progress of Irma and listen to
advice given by officials.
4. The chance of direct impacts from Irma beginning later this week
and this weekend from wind, storm surge, and rainfall continues to
increase in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula.
However, it is too soon to specify the timing and magnitude of these
The 20 track forecasts for Irma from the 12Z Sunday, September 3, 2017 GFS model ensemble forecast have all of the solutions affecting the Bahamas and producing an eventual landfall on the U.S. East Coast or eastern Gulf Coast, but no landfalls in the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, or Hispaniola. Image credit: CFAN.
The 12Z Sunday, September 3, 2017, track forecast by the operational European model for Irma (red line, but adjusted by CFAN using a proprietary technique that takes into account storm motion since 12Z), along with the track of the average of the 50 members of the European model ensemble (heavy black line), and the track forecasts from the “high probability cluster” (grey lines). The four European model ensemble members that have performed best with Irma thus far, as of 18Z Sunday, show that the Bahamas are at high risk of a strike from Irma, with U.S. impacts most likely from Florida to the Carolinas. Image credit: CFAN.
From the National Hurricane Center:
There is an increasing chance of seeing some impacts from Irma in
the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys later this week and this
weekend. In addition, rough surf and dangerous marine conditions
will begin to affect the southeastern U.S. coast by later this week.
Otherwise, it is still too early to determine what direct impacts
Irma might have on the continental United States. However, everyone
in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their
hurricane plan in place, as we are now near the peak of the season.
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