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Hurricane Irma Track Shifts Westward


Hurricane Irma is now expected to come dangerously close to Puerto Rico, and it may pass directly over a good portion of the Bahamas. The track guidance has shifted south and west, and Florida is now in more danger from Irma. Both the GFS and Euro runs from overnight bring Irma close to Florida, but turn it north and make landfall in North Carolina. For the GFS, this continues its shift westward with each run. While the Euro has been inconsistent, there is agreement from other models that Florida is at increasing risk of landfall.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty beyond day 5, and the ensembles of both the GFS and Euro show this uncertainty (see images below). The trough of low pressure that will impact the track is still over the Pacific Ocean, so it's still impossible to tell exactly where Irma will go 6 to 10 days from now. As of now, the models are projecting the ridge of high pressure over the northeast to prevent the hurricane from coming up the coast, but if the ridge is weaker or farther east, that could also change the track. One thing that is fairly certain is that Hurricane Irma will be a dangerous Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane as it is close to the Bahamas.

The following image shows the GFS ensembles:

Image from tropicaltidbits.com

The following image shows the Euro ensembles:


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