Irma is moving toward the north- northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h). A turn toward the northwest at a faster forward speed is expected during the next day or so. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will continue to move over the western Florida peninsula through this morning and then into the southeastern United States late today and Tuesday.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 85 mph (135 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast, and Irma is expected to become a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia later today.
Irma has a very large wind field. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center, and tropical-storm- force winds extend outward up to 415 miles (665 km). The National Ocean Service station at the Clearwater Beach Pier recently reported a wind gust of 88 mph (142 km/h), and wind gusts of hurricane force have been recently reported at the Orlando International and the Orlando Executive airports.
The minimum central pressure estimated from surface observations is 960 mb (28.35 inches). Lakeland Regional Airport recently reported a pressure of 963.4 mb (28.45 inches) as the center passed just to the west.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach the following HEIGHTS ABOVE GROUND if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...
Cape Sable to Captiva...4 to 6 ft Captiva to Anna Maria Island...3 to 5 ft North Miami Beach to Cape Sable, including the Florida Keys...3 to 5 ft Anna Maria Island to Clearwater Beach, including Tampa Bay...2 to 4 ft South Santee River to Fernandina Beach...4 to 6 ft Clearwater Beach to Ochlockonee River...4 to 6 ft Fernandina Beach to Jupiter Inlet...3 to 5 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
WIND: Hurricane conditions are continuing across portions of the central Florida peninsula. Winds affecting the upper floors of high-rise buildings will be significantly stronger than those near ground level. Tropical storm conditions will continue across portions of southern Florida and the Florida Keys through the morning. Tropical storm and hurricane conditions are expected to spread northward across the remainder of the warning areas through today. Tropical storm conditions are expected in portions of the warning area in the Northwestern Bahamas for the next several hours.
RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Wednesday:
Western Bahamas...Additional 2 to 4 inches.
The Florida Keys...Additional 1 inch possible with storm total amounts from 15 to 20 inches, isolated 25 inches.
Western Florida peninsula...10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Eastern Florida peninsula and southeast Georgia...8 to 12 inches, isolated 16 inches.
The rest of Georgia, the eastern Florida Panhandle, southern and western South Carolina, and western North Carolina...3 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
Southern Tennessee, northern Mississippi and much of Alabama...2 to 5 inches.
In all areas this rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.
TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible across northeast Florida and southeast portions of Georgia and South Carolina through tonight.
SURF: Swells generated by Irma are affecting the southeast coast of the United States. These swells are likely to cause life- threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
NEXT ADVISORY ------------- Next complete advisory at 500 AM EDT. The center of Irma is becoming less well defined in National Weather Service Doppler radar data, so hourly radar-based position updates are being discontinued at this time.