All of southern Florida from Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach (including the Keys) is now under a hurricane warning and a storm surge warning. We can expect hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge in coastal and low-lying areas beginning on Saturday — but conditions could deteriorate as early as Friday night because this is an extremely large and powerful major hurricane.
Complete all preparations today, Friday. If you are in an evacuation area and haven’t left yet, leave now for a safe location in your general area. Do NOT attempt to drive north to get out of state — you will end up in Irma’s path. We can expect severely damaging winds, flooding rain, and extremely dangerous storm surge from sometime on Saturday into Monday.
Here’s the information on Irma as 5 am Friday. Irma was located near 21.7 North, 73.8 West, and was moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour into the southeastern Bahamas. Maximum sustained winds were 155 miles per hour, at the top of category 4 strength. But Irma remains a powerful and dangerous hurricane — and will remain so when it reaches Florida. Computer models remain in agreement on a southern Florida landfall. But we are approaching the point when output from the models can’t refine the track in a meaningful way. Only data from observations, radar, and satellite will matter as Irma approaches.
Finish your preparations, find your safe place, and stay safe.