Hurricane Irma continues on its path to the U.S. mainland coast, now just 70 miles away from Key West, but much of Key West has already lost power. The storm has strengthened back to a Category 4. Only time will tell, because hurricanes can be quite unpredictable at this stage. Southern Florida started feeling hurricane conditions tonight, and Irma’s eye is expected to strike parts of the Keys by Sunday morning. The forecast continues to expect the worst of Irma to be felt along the West Coast all day Sunday and into Monday. Irma’s more recent shift west-northwest may land it closer to St. Petersburg instead of Tampa.
The map above shows a cone estimating the probable path of the center of Irma. It does not reflect the size of the storm, and hazardous conditions may be felt outside of this cone. The hurricane warnings are in red above, and tropical storm warnings are in blue. Hurricane watches are in pink and tropical storm watches are in yellow.
At 2 a.m., Irma was located at 23.7 N, 81.3 W, about 70 miles SSE of Key West, Florida. It was moving northwest at 6 mph, with a turn toward the north-northwest and an increase in forward speed expected through late Monday. Irma is currently expected to move near or along Florida’s west coast Sunday afternoon through Monday morning, and move inland over the Florida panhandle and southwestern Georgia on Monday afternoon. The storm’s winds are currently at 130 mph and may strengthen a little more as it nears the west coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Next is the another map from the National Hurricane Center estimating where the center of the hurricane will go.
Remember: hurricane paths can be unpredictable. ECMWF update suggests Irma may not even land in the peninsula itself:
Here’s an earlier spaghetti model for Irma:
Remember, hurricane force winds will be felt even beyond where the eye of the hurricane lands. Hurricane force winds extend 70 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend up to 205 miles from the center.
Here’s an experimental map showing when tropical storm force winds will arrive.
Wind speed probabilities can be viewed in this map. The wind speeds you’re seeing to the right are from Hurricane Jose. These probabilities are for 8 p.m. Saturday through 8 p.m. Thursday, Eastern.
Instead of striking Tampa, the storm may stay near the west coast, unleashing its deadlier winds in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, CBS News reported. It might finally go inland around Fish Creek, northwest of Ocala. But anything can change when it comes to a hurricane’s direct path, so keep a close eye on National Hurricane Center and local weather updates.
You might also be interested in seeing rainfall potential maps for Irma, from the National Hurricane Center. This map below estimates rainfall potential from Saturday night through Thursday night.
At least 170,000 people had already lost power in Florida as of Saturday night, CBS News reported.
Here’s another radar showing Irma’s recent northwest turn:
And here areGOES16 non-op satellite estimates for Irma:
Irma’s pressure was down to 931 mb, the same landfall pressure as Hurricane Carla from 1961.
The eyewall is intense and pressure seems to be continuing to drop:
Watch Irma live in the stories below: