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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Catastrophic Hurricane Irma, now in a Category 5, is on a collision course with Florida


Hurricane Irma is an “extremely dangerous” Category 5, barreling toward the northern Lesser Antilles and Southern Florida. It’s already the strongest hurricane ever
recorded outside the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s likely to make landfall somewhere in Florida over the weekend.

If it does, the impact could be catastrophic.

The storm is life-threatening for the United States, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the southeastern Bahamas. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. A hurricane watch is in effect for Hispaniola and the southeastern Bahamas.

With maximum winds of 185 mph, Irma is tied for the second strongest storm ever observed in the Atlantic. And in its Tuesday morning discussion, the National Hurricane Center said the storm is in an environment “ideal for some additional intensification.”



The hurricane is expected to remain at least a Category 4 for the next few days with minor fluctuations in intensity. It could even become slightly stronger, but it is already nearing historical precedent and a theoretical limit for how strong it can get.
It cannot be overstated that Hurricane Irma is extremely dangerous and will produce the full gamut of hurricane hazards across the Caribbean and potentially in South Florida, including a devastating storm surge, destructive winds, and dangerous flash flooding.

All of Florida — especially South Florida and the Keys — should be preparing for a major hurricane landfall on Sunday. Tropical-storm-force winds are expected to arrive as soon as Friday.


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