Hurricane Irma 5:00pm Update – Puerto Rico Under Fire…

At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 18.8 North, longitude 65.4 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will pass just north of Puerto Rico tonight, pass near or just north of the coast of Hispaniola Thursday, and be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening. –ADVISORY LINK

Maximum sustained winds are near 185 mph (295 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km). A wind gust to 62 mph (100 km/h) has been recently reported at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on Air Force reconnaissance aircraft data is 914 mb.

Bryan Norcross – Wednesday update: Incredible HURRICANE IRMA is mauling the northern Leeward Islands this morning. There is reason to fear tremendous damage and loss of life on those islands. Top winds are still estimated at 185 mph, and the area covered by damaging winds is slowly expanding.

Irma will track over or very near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this afternoon and tonight. The center of the storm will be close enough to those islands that full preparations are required, and extreme caution is necessary.

The northern parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti are likely to be hit hard, especially due to the interaction of the circulation with the tall mountains producing mudslides. But the current thinking is that the center of Irma will be far enough offshore that the mountains will not dramatically weaken the storm.

Tomorrow (Thursday) the winds will pick up in the Southeastern Bahamas. The models indicate that the worst of Irma’s winds will move through the Southeastern and Central Bahamas on Friday. Strong winds will be felt throughout the island chain.

Then Saturday things get murky. Irma’s forecast track is a bit slower than it was yesterday. The storm is still expected to slow down Saturday near or over the west-central Bahamas or Cuba and then ease into the Florida Straits well south or southeast of the Keys late in the day. When storms move slowly, the forecast immediately becomes more difficult. And, of course, we’re talking about the location of the eye 3 or 4 days in the future.

All indications continue to be, however, that a very large and powerful hurricane will move over or near the Keys and head north on Sunday. There is no certainty and nobody knows if the core of the storm, where the strongest winds are, will track close to the east coast, west coast, or go right up the center of the peninsula, in which case it would affect both coasts.

There are, however, changes to the model forecasts this morning, not that they are conclusive.

Your government – specifically NOAA – is throwing all of their resources at making the best possible forecasts. They are collecting double the usual data over the U.S., detailed upper-air data around the storm, and essentially continuous data from inside the hurricane itself. All of this data is fed into the computer models, but still we are left with significant uncertainty due to the number of factors that can still affect the storm before it gets to Florida.

The consensus of the models that ran overnight that took advantage of the data fed into them last evening, has shifted east, so more possible tracks are slightly offshore of the east coast. Previously, they were spread across the state. The National Hurricane Center is always suspicious of large model shifts in just one run, because sometimes they shift back after more data is collected.

Therefore, the official NHC morning forecast brings Irma over the Florida Keys and north into the peninsula on Sunday. Irma is expected to be a large, powerful hurricane at that time, although some weakening from it’s incredible Category 5 self is anticipated. Remember that the average forecast error 5 days out is over 200 miles, so moves by the models from one side of the state to the other is within that range. We have to wait for more data and more model runs to see how the details change. And the difference between the east coast and west coast of Florida is a detail at this point.

Today is the day that governments across the southern part of Florida are going to have to make final hard decisions. If a reasonably imaginable forecast would produce life-threatening conditions – especially due to the ocean, Gulf, or Florida Bay rising up and inundating the land – they have to move people out of the way well in advance of that happening. That means ordering evacuations while the forecast is still uncertain.

A key part of the forecast challenge is even more difficult than predicting where the worst of the winds will track. That’s where the worst storm surge will occur. The height of the water rise at any one place is dependent on the angle the storm is moving, the strength of the wind, the length of time the wind blows from the same direction, and other factors. Since the storm surge is the deadliest threat from the hurricane, it’s critical that people are out of areas where the water may inundate neighborhoods, not to mention evacuation routes. This is the most difficult aspect of preparing a community for a hurricane.

The west coast of Florida – including the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral/Naples area and Tampa Bay – are spectacularly vulnerable to storm surge. Much more so than the east coast, which still has many threatened areas.

If the storm looks like it could go up the west coast, evacuations are going to be required there, which will create an epic movement of people through the State of Florida. If this happens, and you are in an evacuated area, do not dawdle. Do not even think about dawdling. Immediate action will be required.

Every day that goes by in the ramp up to a hurricane gets more difficult because people get more frantic, stores run out of supplies, and the traffic gets worse. This storm presents an elevated level of difficulties because it may affect the entire peninsula with dangerous weather. The means that early preparation is more crucial than normal, and it’s always a good idea.

If you didn’t see yesterday morning’s prep list, check it out in the post below. Now is the time to set yourself up to deal with the storm. And crucially, be sure you know your evacuation status – are you in an evacuation zone and have you been ordered to leave? – and make a plan for where you will go. The closer to home the better, though some areas will require a significant drive.

This complex situation will require all Floridians to pay especially close attention to instructions from local officials starting immediately. Be informed. Be ready. Take action. (Facebook Link)

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384 Responses to Hurricane Irma 5:00pm Update – Puerto Rico Under Fire…

  1. Pam says:

    Like

    • MM says:

      Thanks for all the updates Pam.
      Leaves me more time to prepare for the hurricane when I can come here to check latest news.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pam says:

        No problem. I may have to really get things in gear myself before the weekend is over.

        Liked by 1 person

        • MM says:

          If you live in Florida I wish you well. Stay Safe!

          Like

        • Guyver1 says:

          An observation which you may find interesting, Pam, from someone who is thoroughly familiar with PR.
          If you look at the track over PR, you will notice a sizable bounce towards the north as Irma started to go over the east end of the island. That is what kept them from getting flattened like the islands before that point.
          I know the reason for the bounce… my favorite place on Earth, the place I always carry in my heart, the place where I want my children to lay my ashes down when my time comes:

          Not the first time a hurricane has been bounced away from the island by the mountains of El Yunque National Rain Forest.
          When the southern end of Irma started to hit the mountains of El Yunque, it created a high pressure area that pushed back against the hurricane. The effect continued as those winds hit the Cordillera Central, the central mountain chain which runs east-west through the center of the island. Not only did the mountains push Irma north, they also weakened it a little bit:
          http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/070257.shtml
          The effect of all this is that it has forced the hurricane to start its turn to the north early, that is why the latest track forecast (as of 11:00 PM) for Florida shows a move to the east.
          I know it is too early to tell, but not only did my favorite mountains save PR, they may end up saving Florida as well. I hope so.
          My mountains, my forest… after clicking on the link, click on ‘images’.
          Enjoy.
          https://www.google.com/search?rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-US%3AIE-Address&biw=1536&bih=774&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=el+yunque+national+forest%2C+puerto+rico&oq=el+yunque+national+forest%2C+puerto+rico&gs_l=psy-ab.12..0j0i24k1l3.39668.46557.0.49910.16.16.0.0.0.0.231.3376.2-16.16.0….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..0.16.3346…0i67k1j0i13k1j0i7i30k1j0i8i7i30k1.oKpOdGyhkbk

          Liked by 5 people

          • sunnydaze says:

            oh God I hope you are right, Guyver.

            Things are getting pretty stressful down here in FL. I’ve kind of had it.

            Like

          • Dr T says:

            I can’t believe someone else knows about the effect of El Yunque on hurricanes !!! I experienced my first hurricane in PR at age 5 and remember my dad tell me many times over the years as one hurricane or another approached from the northeast not to worry because as sooon as it hit El Yunque it would steer out north . I’m not sure this held true with Hugo in 1989 because it tore up the island but it appears it helped today.
            Just communicated with my brother in Isla Verde and all is clear there. Winds were about 60 miles per hour at most and no surge nor significant flooding . We were blessed once again.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Guyver1 says:

              Hugo hit the mountains dead on from the south east, direct hit along the line of travel. There was no way the mountains could deflect that.
              However, as Hugo rolled over the mountains, they did cut down its wind speed big time.
              The forest in the mountains absorbed the brunt of the blow, which helped to lessen the impact on the rest of the island.
              It took the forest decades to recover from the effects of the blow. )-:

              Like

          • georgiafl says:

            The historical paths of hurricanes show this common feature – IF the hurricane eye misses or goes north of San Juan, Puerto Rico, it doesn’t go into the Gulf, but hits somewhere on the east coast.

            Did you notice Irma jump north over Puerto Rico? I sure did!!!

            Man, being in the FL panhandle, I was waiting on pins and needles to see if it would do that! (Sorry east coast, but we went through Hermine and 5-10 days without power last summer…and the city/county cleaned up 3000+ truck loads of trees and limbs!!!)

            While the European and GSF models still show the possibility of Irma in the Gulf, two others, the SFWMD and Tropical Tidbits compilations do not….their models show it even a bit east of where it was at 10 pm last night.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. deqwik2 says:

    Another free shelter for horses . Southern Wood Arena Rising Fawn Ga.
    REALLY nice place.

    As hurricane Irma draws closer in, I’m proposing my facility up for anyone needing to get out for a few days.. I have about 55 empty stalls, hot and cold water wash bays, and a fully enclosed arena! For trail riders there are beautiful trails on property that ride over the ridge, with absolutely beautiful views! 13 RV and LQ hook ups are available, there is also a resort and hotels close by! Located in Rising Fawn Georgia!
    From our Southern Wood family we pray that everyone stays safe, and if there is anything at all that we can do please reach out to us! 💙

    UPDATE: we have 39 horses on their way.. 3 RV/LQ hook up taken as well with 10 hook ups left and plenty of more stalls! It’s been a long day full of dust but we are working diligently to get everything ready for those coming! The Rumleys have graciously opened up their 40 acres to primitive camping at no cost, and the Methodist Church in Rising Fawn is opening their doors for people who want to stay close to the arena for their animals sake! We can not thank everyone involved enough for the help and support! Let me be clear we still have stalls available and RV/LQ hook ups! 💙

    https://www.facebook.com/southernwoodarena/

    Liked by 15 people

  3. Minnie says:

    “He will keep you from every form of evil or calamity as He continually watches over you. You will be guarded by God, Himself. You will be safe when you leave your home and safely you will return. He will protect you now, and He will protect you forevermore!” (Psalm 121:7-8)

    Liked by 5 people

  4. jstanley01 says:

    With Houston and Corpus Christi and Rockville lying devestated by Harvey and with Irma potentially doing worse the entire length of Florida and into South Carolina, anybody complaining about a three-month extension of the debt ceiling is suffering from a severe lack of proportion. “But, but, the Wall!” they whine all over Breitbart. Wake up dumb-dumbs, it’s an emergency…

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/hurricane-irma-extreme-storm-surge-threat-us-and-bahamas

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Right now it looks like S. Florida is going to be

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope most of the people who live here are praying that we and our homes are not erased from the earth. I suggest we all pray that Irma decides she doesn’t want to visit Florida after all and will decide to make a very sharp turn and dissipate harmlessly in the North Atlantic, sparing the US mainland her wrath.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Guyver1 says:

        The impact of the lower end of Irma with the mountains in the east of Puerto Rico forced it to change course more to the north by a few degrees, to start its turn early.
        I am hoping that will be enough to do the trick.

        Liked by 1 person

    • smiley says:

      for those of us in Florida right now, that’s a really annoying comment.

      just saying.

      Liked by 1 person

    • nwtex says:

      OMGosh! What a profoundly terrible thing to say!!!!!!!!!

      Like

      • smiley says:

        right ??

        same suggestion I offered, 2 days ago, for all Floridians and people at risk :

        stop looking at the massive size of this thing…you already know how big it is.

        stop looking at the devastation in the little islands…you already know that.

        LISTEN and PAY Attention to ONE trusted LOCAL weather station for your area.

        Ditto with ONE..or TWO…trusted weather sources (wunderground, NOAA..or whatever your preference).

        IGNORE ALL the internet hype and panic-inducing doom & gloomers.

        stay calm.

        be nice to each other.

        don’t get greedy.

        Like

    • El Torito says:

      Time and place, bro…

      Like

  6. daughnworks247 says:

    For a good portion of my life, I lived on Hollywood Beach (between Miami and Ft Laud), in a highrise, so close to the ocean I could lean over the balcony and spit onto the sand.
    BUT I grew up in New Orleans and had “hurricane training”. Most people in South Florida have ever seen a serious hurricane, and their nonchalant attitude scared the crap out of me. Andrew shook them, but it was so small, when Andrew hit Homestead, we only had a few limbs down as close as Miami Beach. In other words, the highrises were all untouched. People shrugged off the threat.
    This one is bad.
    Irma is determined.

    Blanket thank you and blessings to all those taking in livestock, horses, animals,….. and all the people of Florida. It’s times like these which bring us together.
    Please, make sure you have two sets of chain saw chains/blades and mixed fuel.
    God Bless.

    Liked by 4 people

    • deqwik2 says:

      More details on Garrett Coliseum. Livestock evacuation center. They have camper hook ups. (On site camping)

      The Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery,AL is taking reservations now for the evacuation of livestock for those in the path of hurricane Irma(they already have one full barn, but there is PLENTY of room left). Stalls and camper hook ups will be free of charge. To reserve, call Connie or Bill at 334-356-6866. Please pass this along! Pamela Bennett Raines Casey CaldwellBetty J Harrison

      http://www.thegarrettcoliseum.com/

      Like

  7. Just Scott says:

    No good news. But the people I consider the Wx Gods, consider DT the Old-Timer-WXGod.
    https://www.wxrisk.com/florida-se-georgia-or-south-carolina-or-all-3/
    Not going to summarize. Lots of info needs to be taken in context.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Just Scott says:

    Bummer. Second CME, X9.3-class solar flare–the strongest solar flare in more than a decade. Will probably reach our planet on Sept. 8th. (First about 2 hours ago -ish. Depends on particle wave group.) “compared to [] Carrington Event of 1859, [], this event is relatively mild.”

    But, creates atmospheric hot spots and thus more storms and storm intensity.
    http://spaceweather.com/

    Like

  9. Pam says:

    Like

  10. Pam says:

    Like

    • Howie says:

      My bet is now a hit of landfall on the Upper Keys and a more gradual turn to the North. She is moving forward faster than the models show.

      Like

  11. Howie says:

    Irma has gained forward speed.. Up to 18mph. That means will arrive sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nwtex says:

    Like

  13. Bunny says:

    Im making plans to evacuate macdill air force base if need be. Back to square on with leaving alone with my little dog. My husband will have to stay behind. Right now I’m looking to go to Eglin AFB and pray there is some last minute help for me there. I’m getting really nervous about some of these models. So very scared!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Howie says:

      I am thinking Panama City right now. Ready to go just watching. If they switch the tracks West again the traffic will be bumper to bumper and everyone will go nuts. Everyone on the FL West Coasts thinks they are in the clear now.

      Like

    • smiley says:

      plse stop looking at ALL the models, Bunny.

      stay with just one…maybe a second, to confirm.

      stay calm so you can think straight.

      Like

      • smiley says:

        ” Invoke the learning
        Of every suffering
        You have suffered.”

        tap in to your survival experience ❤

        Like

      • Bunny says:

        I am trying to stay calm. Very much so. As much as possible. I have a plan and hope to stick to it. I’m heartsick at the thought of being separated from my husband.

        Howie- maybe we’ll cross paths. I’ve giggled quite a bit from your posts over the last year I’ve lurked here. What caught my eye was when you once mentioned something along the lines of top brass hanging out with “bayshore bimbos” at the Green Iguana. You got many giggles out of me with that one!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Pam says:

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  15. Pam says:

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  16. Pam says:

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  17. Pam says:

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  18. Pam says:

    Like

  19. Pam says:

    Like

  20. nwtex says:

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pam says:

    Like

    • Howie says:

      There it is…Hard Starboard West of Cay Sal Bank. A Palm Beach it would match the Gulf Stream that comes the closest at Palm Beach and Cape Hatterras. THIS is crazy stuff. Cay Sal Bank is the turning point.

      Like

  22. Pam says:

    Like

  23. Howie says:

    This turn prediction is at Cay Sal. Right where the Gulf Stream meets the Antilles Current. Crazy stuff.

    Like

    • Howie says:

      Explained…The Gulf Stream comes from the West between Cuba and Florida. The Antilles Current comes from the SE between Hispanola and the Bahamas. They join at Cay Sal and turn up to the North as one current called The Gulf Stream between Florida and the Bahamas. These tracks are right on the currents.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Pam says:

    Like

  25. Pam says:

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  26. Pam says:

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Pam says:

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  28. Pam says:

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  29. Howie says:

    Asn I thought. NHC has track more West at 6am and speed up to 17mph. NOT GOOD.

    Like

  30. georgiafl says:

    No way, José!

    Like

  31. georgiafl says:

    IRMA has broken a number of records:

    Intensity Measures
    – 185 mph lifetime max winds – tied with Florida Keys (1935), Gilbert (1988) and Wilma (2005) for second strongest max winds of all time in Atlantic hurricane. Allen had max winds of 190 mph in 1980
    – 185 mph lifetime max winds – making it the strongest storm on record to impact the Leeward Islands, defined as 15-19°N, 65-60°W for this calculation. Okeechobee Hurricane (1928) and David (1979) were previous strongest at 160 mph
    – 185 mph lifetime max winds – the strongest storm to exist outside of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on record
    – 185 mph max winds for 33 hours – the longest any cyclone around the globe has maintained that intensity on record. The previous record was Haiyan in the NW Pacific at 24 hours
    – 914 mb lifetime minimum central pressure – lowest since Dean (2007) and 10th lowest in satellite era (since 1966)
    – 914 mb lifetime minimum central pressure – lowest pressure by an Atlantic hurricane outside of the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on record
    – First Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic since Matthew (2016) and first Category 5 hurricane in the tropical Atlantic (7.5-20°N, 60-20°W) since Hugo (1989)
    – 1.75 days as a Category 5 hurricane – tied with David (1979), Mitch (1998) and Isabel (2003) for 4th most Category 5 hurricane days on record

    Integrated Measures
    – Generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy by a tropical cyclone on record in the tropical Atlantic (7.5-20°N, 60-20°W)
    – Generated more Accumulated Cyclone Energy than the first eight named storms of the Atlantic hurricane season (Arlene-Harvey) combined
    – Generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy in a 24-hour period on record, breaking old record set by Allen (1980)
    – Generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy by a named storm forming in August since Frances (2004)
    – Generated 3.75 major hurricane days in the tropical Atlantic (7.5-20°N, 60- 20°W) – trailing only Luis (1995) for major hurricane days in the tropical Atlantic

    https://webcms.colostate.edu/tropical/media/sites/111/2017/09/Hurricane-Irma-Records.pdf

    Like

  32. georgiafl says:

    AF Reconnaissance plane is inside Irma right now checking to see how strong she is:

    Like

    • georgiafl says:

      Irma could strengthen over the very warm waters surrounding Miami

      Here’s one who thinks Saturday will show Irma’s lowest barometric pressure readings:

      Like

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