SITUATION: As of 1100 EDT, Hurricane Irma was located about 140 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. Irma is still moving west-northwest at approximately 14 miles per hour, has maximum sustained winds of 185 MPH, making it a dangerous Category 5 hurricane. The minimum central pressure is 27.11″, which is extremely low. Hurricane Watches are already in effect for much of the coastline of Cuba and the central Bahamas and Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the lower Bahamas. Irma is expected to continue its west-northwest track going around the southern periphery of the mid Atlantic ridge of high pressure. Once it reaches the southwestern side of the high, Irma is forecast to turn northwest, then north and toward Florida in response to a trough of low pressure coming out of the continental United States heading towards Florida, which will erode the mid Atlantic high pressure ridge slightly. The two National Hurricane Center forecast tracks have shifted the forecast track of Irma east each time. Now the center of the track is forecast to move over the eastern coastline of the Florida peninsula. However, pay attention to the cone of uncertainty as it still covers much of southern and central Florida.
Hurricane Irma Forecast Discussion: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/061448.shtml
Hurricane Irma Graphical Forecast Track: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/145453.shtml?cone#contents
ACTIONS: Hardee County Emergency Management is closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Irma but has not activated any public shelters or requested our help for assistance at this time. This could change soon and on short notice. Hardee County Emergency Management has opened an incident in WebEOC (the system they use to collect data from those who work in the EOC on storm preparation management) and the ARES Emergency Coordinator is already making entries for Hardee County ARES for Hurricane Irma in WebEOC as to our actions thus far. Due to the potential threat for activation, Hardee County ARES is going to a Level 3 activation at this time, 1100 EDT on 9/05/17. Hardee County ARES will remain at a Level 3 activation until the threat from Hurricane Irma is diminished. Please continue to monitor the latest advisories from the National Hurricane Center, now being issued every 3 hours. Also be bringing any mitigation or preparation activities to completion. A special session of the Hardee County ARES Net will be held on the N4EMH Repeater if necessary. Notice of that net will be disseminated on the ARESDB email list.