Saturday, September 9, 2017

Irma Making Turn?

As we saw last night, much of Irma’s circulation was over Cuba and that has taken a toll on her intensity as her TOP winds are down to 125 mph.  Her core circulation remains intact and I fully expect her to regain Cat. 4 status once totally back over water.  Her forward motion is now under 10 mph so the long awaited turn to the north appears to be setting up.  NHC has shifted the track slightly farther to the west with landfall near Naples & Ft. Myers.  Any farther shift to the west will bring Tampa Bay-St. Pete into the greater danger of storm surge.   IF Irma makes landfall south of Ft. Myers, That would keep the big surge out of Tampa Bay.  As I have mentioned before, a slight shift in track will have huge impacts either positive or negative.  This is still Florida’s storm and then states farther to the north.  Satellite loops show how the dry air covers all of the northern Gulf along with WSW wind shear.   There is no way Irma could come back to Louisiana.  There is a slim chance, if she stays a little farther to the west of Florida, that areas from Panama City eastward could get into Tropical storm force winds.  But for now all the major impacts should be on Florida.  I expect we’ll see that turn to the north begin this afternoon.   ALL models show that so only minor tweaks to the track can be expected.  Florida has had days to prepare so I hope the loss of life will be minimal.   I’ll update again after the 4 PM advisory from NHC.  Stay tuned!


Danielle Howard said...

Thank you!

Aric Gisclair said...

Thx Bob! We love your expert analysis of these storms!!!!