IRMA eye close to first landfall
AM Sunday 10th September 2017
The centre of IRMA is 45 miles south-sou'east of Key West moving north west at around 6 knots. The eye edge will make a first landfall around sunrise local time as a strong category 4 hurricane after IRMA strengthened again overnight with sustained winds of 115 gusting 140 knots. The current HSI rating is 33 (19 for size and 14 for intensity) with a little more up its sleeve to peak at 37 (20 for size and 17 intensity) at landfall. Squalls radiate from the eye as far afield as the Cayman Islands to north Florida. The tropical storm force windfield has a diameter of almost 500 miles. This is a vast cyclone. The major landfall is now expected to occur a little west of previous tracks some 50 miles south of Tampa passing over Tampa and moving into Georgia tomorrow afternoon. IRMA will produce a tidal surge of up to 18 feet south of where it makes landfall on the west coast of Florida with surge heights in Tampa Bay as high as 7 feet, though higher surges would occur if IRMA were to move any further west of Tampa.
Category 4 Hurricane JOSE is now centred 160 miles north of the Leeward Islands headed north west at 15 knots with sustained wind speeds of 110 to 130 knots having given the islands a reprieve from a landfall. JOSE is still freshening but almost at peak now with an HSI of 24 (9 for size and 15 for intensity) and is expected to track to the north-west for a day or two then meander aimlessly looking for somewhere to go. Staying at sea would be nice.