Hurricane Irma is a powerful Category 5 storm with 185 mph winds. However, what effect, if any, could the hurricane have on Boston, Massachusetts?
“Long-range forecasts indicated Irma likely would curve to the northwest beginning late Monday and skirt to the north of the islands in the eastern Caribbean on a path that could potentially take it to the U.S. East Coast, but it was too early to make a definitive prediction,” reported WCVB-TV. “StormTeam 5 said if the hurricane is going to make an East Coast impact, it would happen early next week, based on the current track of the storm.”
The initial danger is to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, with the storm then likely proceeding to Southern Florida, including the Florida Keys, where evacuation orders were issued on September 5.
This is the storm’s path on the evening of September 5:
According to The Boston Globe, the storm’s danger to New England depends on its trajectory and, on September 5, that was too hard to predict.
“We know Irma is going to continue in a general westward movement the rest of the week. We also know eventually it’ll take a turn to the north. The precise timing of the turn is critical to how the United States is affected. If the turn occurs early enough, the storm could move along the coastline and not hit any land,” The Globe reported. “If the change in direction occurs just south of Florida, the storm could move through that state and then head north along the coast affecting multiple regions, even New England. The storm would weaken dramatically along the way but still create issues here sometime late next week.”
There are other models that don’t show the storm having much effect on New England.
See the weather page for Boston here. Boston’s weather is tracked by the National Weather Service office in Taunton, Massachusetts. See updated radar here. See Boston’s hourly forecast here. See satellite infrared radar for Boston here.
There is a flash flood watch in portions of Massachusetts for September 6-7. The hazardous weather outlook for Boston made no mention of Irma on September 5, and there was no hurricane watch in place for the city, Massachusetts or New England.
Track Irma’s progress here.
Here’s the extended forecast for Boston from the National Weather Service on September 5:
“Tonight (September 5)
Increasing clouds, with a low around 69. South wind 6 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 10am. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain and frequent lightning. Patchy fog before noon. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 75. South wind 6 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain and frequent lightning. Patchy fog after 9pm. Low around 66. South wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Showers and thunderstorms likely before 1pm, then a chance of showers. Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, cloudy, with a high near 74. West wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 58. West wind around 8 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 73.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 70.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 55.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 56.
Sunny, with a high near 73.
Mostly clear, with a low around 58.
Sunny, with a high near 75.”