Hurricane Irma is already a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph as of the latest 4 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
The forecast calls for Irma to go through a period of further intensification over the next 48 hrs possibly strengthening the storm into a strong Category 4 or maybe even Category 5 storm.
Those residents in the northeast Caribbean should be rushing their hurricane preparations to completion as Irma is a very dangerous storm that will likely take a track either through or just north of those islands.
Then the question becomes, where does Irma go from there?
Models have been trending in the wrong direction, west, which continues to increase the likelihood of a potential U.S. direct impact. Now many variables are in play but the chances that the big front sweeping across the nation this week will pick up Irma and send the storm north, out to sea seem to be decreasing.
The latest data suggest Irma will miss this trough and continue more westerly almost hitting the coast of Cuba before a secondary trough digs down and pulls the storm north into Florida. This secondary trough is being modeled in the 6-7 day range which can change drastically between now and then.
It continues to be urged to all residents along the U.S. coastline that it’s too soon to pinpoint an exact landfall and fluctuations in the models will continue to occur. Even Gulf Coast residents need to monitor Irma closely.
— Zack Fradella (@ZackFradellaWx) September 4, 2017