Last updated on January 15th, 2018
Hurricane Irma Strongest Ever in Atlantic?
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Irma was a “potentially catastrophic” storm. The maximum sustained winds are now 185 mph as of this post.
Irma could potentially explode into the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Currently this hurricane is the strongest ever recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.
As Irma churns closer to the U.S. coast, the path is becoming more certain. South Florida, particularly the Keys, is increasingly likely to take a hit.
This hurricane is so large that the National Weather Service is encouraging not to focus too much on its direct path. This is because those who live well outside the cone will potentially be affected given its size.
My own personal observations suggest that Hurricane Irma might likely go right up through Florida, maybe up the coastline. Looks like it will make a turn northward after reaching South Florida Sunday morning.
UPDATE 1: Thursday AM. Looks like models may be favoring the east side of Florida. Though Irma is so powerful ALL look to be affected in FL and beyond. Runs of four track models—the European, GFS, HWRF, and UKMET models—were in strikingly close agreement that Irma will continue on a west-northwest track till Saturday, then arc sharply to the north-northwest. All four model runs placed the center of Irma within roughly 50 miles of Miami on Sunday morning.
UPDATE 2: Friday PM. Hurricane Irma weakened from Category 5 to Category 4 strength on Friday morning, but still represents an extreme danger to much of Southern Florida. The Florida Keys will take the full force of the storm, with storm surge of up to 10 feet. Southwest Florida is expected to see a storm surge of 6 – 12 feet.
UPDATE 3: Saturday AM. Still en route to a potentially catastrophic hit on Florida. Hurricane Hunters found that Irma had re-intensified to Category 5 strength. The most recent consensus of models is that this track will run inland along the west side of the Florida peninsula from south to north.If Irma comes inland across far southwest Florida, it may pass directly over Naples. Hurricane-force winds are possible, and damaging tropical-storm-force winds are very likely, well up and down the west and east coasts of Florida, as well as inland, including the Orlando area.
NHC’s storm surge forecast was hiked significantly in their 11 am EDT Saturday advisory, with 10 – 15′ of surge now expected along the west coast of Florida as far north as Fort Myers, 6 – 10′ from Fort Myers to Sarasota, 5 – 10′ in the Florida Keys, and 5 – 8′ in Tampa Bay.
UPDATE 4: Sunday AM. Irma crossing Lower Florida Keys. Cat 4. Irma may reach the southwest coast of Florida on Sunday afternoon while still at Category 4 strength. Regardless of its peak winds at landfall, Irma poses an extremely serious storm-surge threat to the highly populated, surge-vulnerable stretch of coastline from Fort Myers to Tampa.
See ‘Spaghetti’ Track Models Below:
Fortunately according to news reports it appears that many people in Florida are taking the warnings serious. People are gathering supplies. News reports indicate that stores are already selling out of many items.
No doubt that recent Hurricane Harvey has more people thinking about the potential for disaster.
Florida is so very low lying that flooding will surely be a very big issue should Hurricane Irma move up the state rather than glance across.
Storm surge along the coast (and inland to an extent) is always a very big concern and this one might be pretty bad.
It might be time to bug out for the duration if you live in a danger zone…
Hurricane Ham Radio Nets
It might be interesting for those with Ham Radios to listen in on the various Ham Radio Nets as they become activated for this hurricane. As you discover nets, please leave the info & frequencies in the comments section below and I’ll add them up here….
The Hurricane Watch Net
Spaghetti Track Models (and more)
I have put together the following montage of clickable images with forecasts, satellite pictures, spaghetti track models, and other useful data for your interest. They will automatically update when new imagery becomes available, so long as you refresh or return to this page.
-Load time might be slower than usual due to the embedded imagery.
-I will add more as new relevant images become available.
-Click on images for larger version.
(IRMA has come and gone. Models removed)