Saturday, September 9, 2017

Irma Pulling Away From Cuba...

The eye of Irma is moving WNW and is now back completely over the warm waters of the Florida Straits.   Her circulation is totally intact and she appears to be regaining intensity.  As I await the 4 pm NHC update, here are my thoughts.  The latest Euro run nudges Irma slightly farther to the west.  I would expect NHC to leave their previous track unchanged having next landfall somewhere near Naples & Ft. Myers.   Then northward to Tampa Bay.  Initially Tampa-St. Pete won’t see the rapid water rise since their winds will be from the ENE.  However, after the center passes to the north, strong winds from the SW will drive water up the Bay so downtown Tampa won’t see their highest surge until after the storm passes.  IF the Euro is correct, the center will hug the coast up into the big Bend area bringing some surge, winds & rains to parts of the panhandle mainly east of Apalachicola.   The time line has the Keys & southwest Florida getting slammed tonight into early Sunday.  Central Florida getting battered Sunday into early Monday.  Northern Florida & Georgia seeing impacts Monday into Tuesday.  Disney World will close down tonight and stay closed Sunday & Monday.  IF they escape major damages, they could reopen for business on Tuesday.   That may be wishful thinking since I believe with Irma’s powerful winds, there will be widespread power outages that will take days & weeks to recover.  My friends in Tampa Bay are “hunkered down” and now it’s up to Irma’s track to see who gets the worst.   It appears Florida’s east coast will escape with way less impacts than earlier projected.   Buoy reports from the Keys are showing gusts above 50 mph so Irma’s destruction is starting to impact the U.S.    The latest info on the 4 PM update  surprisingly keeps Irma’s winds at 125 mph despite an ever more impressive satellite presentation.  The NOAA Plane could not find any stronger winds, however, the pressures are falling again so Irma’s winds should increase on the next advisory.  The track hasn’t changed from above and the storm’s motion is 295 degrees (WNW) at 9 mph.   This will remain Florida’s storm with the worst impacts along the west coast up into the Big Bend area.  Sunday when we all go to Church, let’s keep our friends in Florida in mind.  It will be a long 1-2 days for many.  Stay tuned!

2 comments:

Twit MediaCritc said...

Why are we seeing the national news outlets saying "it's started to make the turn" when clearly it continues to move WNW? Has the reporting of actual information been eclipsed by doing what they think is best for public safety? Thanks Bob, we all miss your face!

Anonymous said...

Irma is still right along Cuba. What are your thoughts now?