Hurricane Irma has steadily approached the Leeward Islands and has several Caribbean islands in its path over the next couple of days. The storm — currently a Category 5 with winds topping 187 mph — will be heading toward Puerto Rico and onto the Bahamas.
The latest GFS model has altered a little bit. It suggests that Irma will reach Florida and then head north, moving up the Eastern Seaboard. If this happens, there is a very good chance that Virginia will be affected. If this does not happen, there is still a chance that residents in Virginia will see strong winds and heavy rain as the storm moves north. Irma may not be as strong by this point, but tropical weather is still expected.
“While, obviously, the biggest concern lies for Virginia residents lies along the coast, the storm could also severely affect next week’s weather in western parts of the state, according to some computer models,” reports Patch.
The photos below show the projected tracks that Irma could take as she moves west northwest.
According to the Daily Press, officials in Virginia are encouraging residents to be vigilant and to not wait for a hurricane warning before getting prepared. It is going to take a few days for Irma to arrive somewhere in U.S. waters and from there, a few more days until she makes it up to Virginia — but making sure you have a plan and plenty of water isn’t a bad idea, according to Dana Perry, emergency operations coordinator for the city of Newport News.
“Residents are encouraged to have a battery-powered radio and sign up for a local alert program so they are aware of weather notifications. During a disaster, emergency officials will convey instructions, such as orders to evacuate; details about evacuation routes and shelters; weather warnings and watches; information about sheltering in place; and where to find assistance.”
Irma’s potential track will be better laid out over the next 24 to 48 hours.