The first hurricane watches for Hurricane Irma have been issued for South Florida and the Florida Keys in the latest update from the National Hurricane Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The storm remains a category 5 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds at 175 mph. It is 75 miles east-northeast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
The NHC issued Hurricane Watches for “Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach,” the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay. Storm Surge Watches were issued for “Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita
Beach” and the Florida Keys.
A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible in the area and are issued 48 hours in advance “before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force
winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous,” according to the NHC.
A Storm Surge Watch “means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.”