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  • My Personal Weatherman™

Extremely Dangerous Hurricane Irma on Track for Southern Florida

Hurricane Irma has continued to slowly weaken with maximum sustained winds as of the 5 AM advisory down to 155 mph, which would put it just below Category 5 status. At this time, slight weakening is expected prior to landfall in southern Florida; however, it is still expected to make landfall as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane. It should be pointed out that intensity forecasts have a higher degree of uncertainty than track forecasts, so people in southern Florida should still prepare as if a Category 5 hurricane is coming.

Regarding the track, not much has changed, with the GFS being on the east side of the guidance and the UKMET being on the west side of guidance. The Euro has been the best performer so far, and Hurricane Irma is expected to cross over the Florida Keys and make landfall around the center of the southern tip of Florida. If this track does occur, perhaps the highest winds will be just west of the densely populated southeast coast of Florida. However, hurricane-force wind gusts are expected for almost the entire state of Florida and portions of Georgia as well.

At this time, Hurricane Jose is not expected to make landfall in the United States, but it bears watching. In addition, the next system, which may become Hurricane Lee, is also not projected to make landfall in the United States. However, we are at the peak of hurricane season, and there are expected to be several more tropical systems to watch as we head into late September into October.

This image shows the ensembles from the Euro run, which shows a good clustering with landfall in the central to perhaps western tip of southern Florida:

The following is the wind from from the Euro run from yesterday, which I believe is an excellent depiction of the expected wind field. The values are in knots, so multiply by 1.15 to convert knots to mph.

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