Written by on September 6, 2017 in Tropics

Hurricane Irma still remains a very dangerous category 5 hurricane with sustained winds at 185 mph with much higher gusts.

Hurricane Irma
5:00 PM EDT on September 06, 2017
Location 18.8 N -65.4 W
Winds: 185 mph Gust: 225 mph
Pressure: 914 mb
Category: 5
Moving: WNW at 16 mph

Irma is going WNW which will take the center just north of Puerto Rico and later Cuba. While the eye will remain offshore hurricane conditions extend outwards of 50 miles from the center.

As Irma reaches the Bahamas, her intensity will remain strong over the short term but increasing shear and the interaction with the islands will very slowly weaken the hurricane. Even with this weakening, the hurricane is expected to be a category 4 hurricane as it approaches Florida.

Which brings us to the longer range forecast. Irma is still being kept on a WNW direction as the ridge over the Atlantic extends north of the hurricane. Irma will turn northward in response to the trough approaching the southeast this weekend. When that turn occurs will affect how far off the coast the center will travel. Right now there is some uncertainty of where and when the turn will occur though some of the models are beginning to narrow as indicated below.

 

 

 

The GFS ensemble is a little less clustered around the turn northward this weekend.

 

Regardless of the exact location of the center, strong hurricane conditions will occur inland even if the center does not actually make landfall in Florida. All residents along the southeast coast will also be impacted by Hurricane Irma. If you are in a location that is hurricane prone, take action now.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose is being overshadowed by Hurricane Irma. Jose is now a category 1 hurricane with winds near 75 mph. The forecast track keeps Jose north of the Islands and over the open Atlantic. The forecast beyond 5 days is quite amusing with some models turning the hurricane northward before sending it back around in a loop. Too early to tell whether that will actually happen but its definitely interesting.

Then there is the underdog Katia in the Gulf of Mexico who found a way to become a category 1 hurricane. Katia will remain nearly stationary off the coast of Mexico before moving southwest this weekend making landfall over Mexico.

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