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The latest on Hurricane Irma

(WPMI)

Winds of Change Today...

A rare early September cold front is sweeping across the area. A few lingering showers and some thunder is possible this morning, otherwise the expect clearing skies, a brisk north breeze, and cooler temperatures in the low 80s this afternoon.

The real cool-down will come in the wake of the weather maker. The coolest air since late May is on the way to the Gulf Coast. Temperatures should tumble into the 50s on Thursday and Friday morning. The last time Mobile fell below 60° was May 25th (54°).

Expect a lot of sunshine and a gradual warm-up as we head into the weekend.

TROPICS:

Hurricane Irma is now a powerful category 5 storm with top sustained winds of 185 mph. That's stronger than Katrina, Andrew or Camille. Not that it will maintain that strength (it probably won't) but that should give you an idea of the force residents of the Caribbean may have to deal with. The northeastern islands of the Caribbean (Virgin Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, St. Nevis, St. Martin) are currently feeling an impact, and conditions will worsen today in Puerto Rico.

The latest NHC forecast track, along with forecast models we analyze here at Local 15, show a steady track towards the southern Bahamas/north coast of Cuba in 3-4 days, and closing in on the Florida Keys this weekend. That would put the storm in a position to pose a significant threat to south Florida by late Saturday. From there the forecast becomes a bit more cloudy regarding the ultimate path of Irma, but movement into Gulf of Mexico is unlikely. We'll keep our guard up until there is no threat for south Alabama and northwest Florida, but I don't envision an impact on our area.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Jose is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by tonight and TD13 officially became Tropical Storm Katia as of 5 am today. Neither system is an immanent threat to land.

Be sure to bookmark our HURRICANE CENTER page and stay ahead of the tropics all season long.


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