It is quite alarming to know that for more than a day, the very monstrous Hurricane Irma sustained Category 5 unstoppable winds and ripped through the northern Lesser Antilles. The storm, is considered to be the second-strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, is storming through the Virgin Islands and all set for Puerto Rico, the southeastern Bahamas and, by the weekend to the next week Florida and the Southeast U.S.
This is very devastating and life-threatening storm that the National Hurricane Center has been warning about is capable of catastrophic damage. The preparations need to be completed prior to that.
At 3 p.m., the Hurricane Irma was 80 miles east of San Juan and was smashing west-northwestward at devastating 16 mph. It seemed to be eying over Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands and its southern eyewall which is the powerful known region for winds that raked Saint Thomas. The most-outer bands of it had begun moving northeast Puerto Rico.
Barbuda and Saint Martin saw it’s devastating passing Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, in the northern Leeward Islands. It is the strongest hurricane that ever hit that region and tied with the 1935 Florida Keys hurricane being the the strongest of Atlantic storms which ever struck land.
This historically and seemingly catastrophic hurricane is forecast to reduce its pace in the coming two days but it will continue to remain being an extremely dangerous Category 4 or 5 storm. The forecast believes that it will create the full scale gamut of hurricane hazards across the Caribbean and potentially South Florida with very dangerous storm surge with destructive winds and explosive flash flooding.
Model forecasts by weather experts have diverted the center of the storm to be eastward since Tuesday, aggravating the core of Irma to be passing right along Florida’s east coast. It is equally uncertain that Irma’s track will hit all of Florida and put them on highest alert to be ready for the storm.
It is predicted that Tropical-storm-force winds are likely to arrive in Florida on Saturday, with the worst storm conditions occurring Sunday. The very extreme weather conditions are likely to occur across the storm center, but at this point, it is nearly impossible to predict the exact track route and where that will head afterwards and it is likely possible that intolerable storm effects going to expand well outside the center.
The fact is the all of Florida peninsula is just about 100 miles wide, and very negligible against the size of the storm comparatively.
Any hurricane never rated to be a Category 5 unless it causes catastrophic damage. It should be noted that the category rating is determined on the basis of peak winds in the eyewall not exactly the size of the storm or even rainfall or surge.
Following are the forecast tracks from a selection of dynamical forecast models. (B. Tang, UAlbany)
The various locations in Florida's north, Georgia and also the Carolinas must get ready to face the hurricane for a significant impact Monday and Tuesday. Somehow, the various aspects make Irma resemble to Hurricane Mathew which had affected these regions 11 months ago.