Hurricane Irma is currently located approximately 55 miles east northeast of Great Inagua Island in the Caribbean, heading WNW toward to Bahamas at 16 mph.
Over the weekend, Irma is expected to make landfall somewhere in south Florida as a Category 4 storm. The current map (above) on the National Hurricane Center’s website has Irma splitting the Sunshine State down the middle, coming in somewhere near Miami and driving straight between Orlando and Tampa. This track would bring hurricane conditions to most of the state, starting as a Category 4 in southern Florida, and weakening down to a Category 1 before it exits the state and heads into Georgia.
Other states northwest of Florida are expected to feel Irma’s wrath, but she will more than likely slow to a tropical storm before that happens.
Below are images and graphics from the latest GFS update as of midnight Eastern.
“GFS continues to show Irma moving right up the East coast as a major hurricane. I will post my thoughts once the Euro runs in a few hours. If this verifies, just devastating for Miami. Looks just like what Matthew was supposed to do last year. Hopefully, the end result will be the same, just offshore,” said Tampa-based meteorologist Denis Phillips.
Below are images and graphics from the latest European update as of 2 p.m. Eastern. This will update again at 2 a.m. Eastern.
“The 12z Euto is back a little bit to the West. This is why it’s so important to remember a 60 mile difference in the Keys, would make a 200 mile difference up North. The sharp angle of the turn is the reason it’s such a precarious forecast,” Phillips said earlier in the day on Thursday.
As you can see in the map below, the majority of the state of Florida will experience hurricane force winds from Saturday through Tuesday.