SITUATION: As of 1100 EDT, Hurricane Irma was located about 75 miles east-northeast of Pureto Plata, Dominican Republic and about 120 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island in the Bahamas. Irma is still moving west-northwest at approximately 16 miles per hour, has maximum sustained winds of 175 MPH, still making it a dangerous Category 5 hurricane. The minimum central pressure is 27.20″, which is extremely low.Hurricane Irma now holds the record as the hurricane that has held Category 5 intensity for the longest.
Hurricane Watches and a Tropical Storm Warning are in effect for much of the coastline of Cuba. Hurricane Warnings are now in effect for all of the Bahamas. New for the current advisory are the following watches: A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach,including the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay. This includes Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, Glades, and Hendry Counties.
The forecast track in basically unchanged since yesterday. 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 center of the track is forecast to move over the eastern coastline of the Florida peninsula. However, pay attention to the cone of uncertainty now covers most of the state of Florida, except the panhandle.
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. The ARES Emergency Coordinator is continuing to make entries for Hardee County ARES for Hurricane Irma in WebEOC as to our actions thus far. 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. The next scheduled briefing will follow the 1100 EDT advisory tomorrow morning on Hurricane Irma. All briefings are now posted on the new Hardee County ARES website located at http://hardeeares.kt4wx.org.