HURRICANE IRMA MONSTER CATEGORY FIVE
HURRICANE IRMA MONSTER CATEGORY FIVE
HURRICANE IRMA MONSTER CATEGORY FIVE – Good morning everyone. Irma has traded in her broad Category 1-3 clothes with the typical cirrus swirl, for the destructive buzzsaw look of a Category 4 and higher. At 175 mph sustained winds, she is now a monster category 5.
As of this moment, Irma remains on her path and models continue to dial it in for south Florida. Hurricane Irma is still several days out and there can still be changes throughout time, but the changes will become more and more subtle and other scenarios will start to fade away.
Because models continuously bring her into south Florida in one form or another and one path or another, the time to prepare and have a plan is now. The GFS model has the center of the storm nearing landfall late Saturday or very early Sunday morning, whereas the Euro shows a landfall from a different angle of approach 24 hours later, which I explain below.
GFS PAINTS A CATASTROPHIC PATH
We’re at the point now where we can paint of picture of what to expect IF a landfall happens a specific way. Remember, we’re still several days out and the final track could change, but as time goes on those changes will become more subtle.
The GFS right now essentially depicts the worst case scenario, with the center missing most of the islands and slamming into south Florida at a Category 4 or 5 strength. This would cause widespread, catastrophic damage from the Florida Keys to Miami, Ft Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and points northward. Not only would winds do major or total structural damage to almost every building not designed to withstand such a storm, but a 10-20ft storm surge would cause catastrophic damage along the immediate shore, areas along the intracoastal, and homes along canals which connect to the intracoastal.
The GFS also has a late night Saturday/early Sunday landfall, but Tropical Storm and/or hurricane force winds will be felt before the actual center arrives.
EURO GIVES A VERY HARD PUNCH, BUT SOMETHING RECOVERABLE
The Euro models have a more palatable solution as of this moment, but would still be a major problem nonetheless. I stress again, things may change and any subtle changes will matter whether it’s positive or negative changes.
This solution has Irma clipping mountainous Haiti/DR, and then running over Cuba. This would help weaken Irma before she makes the turn north. At this point, this is what we “want” if we can’t have a complete miss. It also has a later landfall, probably late Sunday night or early Monday morning. The later landfall is because of the different track and landfall point, which today’s solution shows near Islamorada.
With this scenario, the Florida Keys would still sustain tremendous damage, especially surge related. It’s nothing to take lightly and they would be facing a life threatening situation. However, the rest of Florida would be spared a strong Category 4 or 5 hurricane if it spent enough time over Cuba.
Damage, flooding, and all of the things that come with a strong hurricane would still occur, but it wouldn’t look like a bomb went off across the entire state; making recovery easier and a little faster.
Unfortuntely, there are scenarios that have Irma re-emerging off of the coast before hitting Georgia to North Carolina, then strong remnants up here in the Northeast. That would mean flooding rains, tornado activity, and possible tropical storm force winds. Others have it dying out over the Tennessee Valley. This is why we ALL need to continue to watch, but Florida right now has decisions to make very soon.
If by some miracle, she gets spared, no big deal. You were prepared and you can return to your completely unscathed or slightly damaged home, but have a plan in place now and know where to evacuate if needed.
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