Latest Projections Show Hurricane Irma Headed For Florida

As Hurricane Irma continues to move  west as a Category three storm, in what still is said to be an indeterminate path, according to the latest projections from Met Scientist Michael Ventrice, it now looks like Florida has the highest probability of a US landfall…

…though that doesn’t mean the Gulf of Mexico can rest easy. Hurricane forecasting is notoriously inaccurate one or two weeks out...

Before it nears the US, however, the storm is headed toward the Northern Caribbean, threatening to bring flooding rain and damaging winds to the Leeward Islands. Preparations for the storm should already be taking place in these areas, according to

“Rain and gusty winds may start as early as Tuesday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.

According to Accuweather, Irma’s intensity has vacillated over the past few days. But the storm is expected to strengthen to a category four hurricane with sustained winds of 130-156 mph as it approaches the islands. Thereafter, the storm will turn to the north and west over the coming days. This track will put Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, in the brunt of the storm's rain and wind spanning Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cruise and shipping vessels in the hurricane’s path will need to reroute.

Later in the week, Irma will move close to Puerto Rico and Hispaniola with the worst of the storm expected to miss the islands to the north. Even so, rough surf, gusty winds and heavy rain will increase.

Experts are concerned that the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas could face dangerous conditions at the end of the week and into the weekend as Irma passes nearby or possibly through the islands. Impacts will be severe if Irma maintains its strength and passes over them.

Ultimately, the storm could land in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas or even closer to the Delmarva Peninsula. Or it could curve northward and miss the east coast entirely.

“The eastward or northeast progression of a non-tropical system pushing across the central and eastern U.S. this week will highly impact the long-range movement of Irma,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

How fast or slow this non-tropical system moves will determine whether Irma takes a west-northwest path toward the southern Atlantic Seaboard or gets steered north and away from land.

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Readers may be wondering, if the storm slams southeast Florida, as is looking increasingly likely. Well, the Miami Herald spoke with one engineer who built a “dynamic” weather forecasting model that incorporates data like rainwater evaporation rates and how much of a given surface area is paved.

“Omar Abdul-Aziz, an engineer and assistant professor at West Virginia University, has done just that with a new model he built while at Florida International University as part of a state-funded project to improve hurricane loss models. At the request of the Herald, he agreed to run three rainfall scenarios that might resemble Hurricane Harvey.


The maps he produced stretch from Homestead north to Port St. Lucie, not including barrier islands which are separate land masses, and depict flooding after 48 hours from 20 inches of rain, 30 inches of rain, and 40 inches of rain.


Because the maps cover a large area, they don’t show flooding at street level. But Abdul-Aziz said they do provide a far more accurate picture of what would happen across the region.”

If his models are accurate, residents of densely populated cities like Miami might want to start bracing for floods. Abdul-Aziz found that floodwaters in parts of Miami, Hialeah, South Dade and Fort Lauderdale could rise between nine and 17 inches at least with this amount of rain. And with 40 inches of rain, flooding in those same neighborhoods, as well as many more, rises to between 23 inches and more than three feet — enough to begin damaging houses and partially submerge cars.

“Because of the flat land and low elevation, water does not move fast. It goes slow and the drainage capacity is not designed to take that much rainfall,” he said.

To build the model, funded with $533,000 from the state, Abdul-Aziz used the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest stormwater management model, which has been used since the 1970s to help communities plan water and sewer systems. They include local hydrology, land cover, ground level and local climate, but cover a smaller area.

Abdul-Aziz mapped out three different flooding scenarios below:


To be sure, the storm is still at least a week away. Depending on atmospheric conditions, it could menace a wide stretch of the US east coast. If it’s still a powerful category 3 or 4 storm when it hits – as projections suggest it would be – the US could be bracing for its second major natural disaster in two weeks.


MarsInScorpio CheapBastard Sun, 09/03/2017 - 23:48 Permalink

This is horribly selfish to say, however, as far as everyone west of Haiti goes, running east-to-west along Hispaniola, is the best thing possible; the mountains, some reaching 10,000-foot el;elevations, will destroy the hurricane's wind structure.Of course, because Haiti was the very next country to declare independence after America, and therefore had just as long a period of time as did the USA to become prosperous, but didn't, opens up some very controversial theories about why it didn't. They run along the same lines as why the failure to become prosperous affects major urban areas run by particular ethnic groups mirroring those of Haiti . . . uniformly, and without exception in America.But who wants to talk about the truth  . . . ?

In reply to by CheapBastard

JRobby Barney Fife Mon, 09/04/2017 - 08:34 Permalink

It looks like the media collusion is blasting full on trying to get people to spend money on supplies and travel as the gougers lick their chops.With Matthew last year, the media triggered severe over reactions as it was tropical storm force for all of Florida leaving more than a few people pissed off and already distrustful of the media as a result of election coverage and phony polls that was nothing less than an abomination, destroying the public's confidence in the media. Now they are back crying wolf again after 10 months of ripping a constitutionally elected POTUS 24/7.Get back to me in a week when this storm is either in the gulf or headed up the Atlantic coast, out to sea. Because they don't know where it is going but they do know manipulation and deception. Sadly, this is posted to ZH..................

In reply to by Barney Fife

Justawhoaman samjam7 Mon, 09/04/2017 - 11:29 Permalink

Deniers?  Truth seekers.  In fact, the truth is that there have been patents to weaponize weather for several decades and anyone who reads a blog that usually (or at least is supposed to) focus on markets, especially futures, and doesn't understand the value in being able to CONTROL these hurricanes and any other storms is simply a DENIER.  Stick that into your inconvenient truth bag.

In reply to by samjam7

johngaltfla Tallest Skil Sun, 09/03/2017 - 23:21 Permalink

For the unaware, wait until the Tuesday 9/5 0600 UTC runs. That is when Florida will sweat it. In the mean time, watch the expansion of the wind field and see if the storm starts to make its turn to the WNW in the next 18 hours. If the storm stays on a W to WSW motion beyond that, Florida is toast and worse, if it travels through the Florida Straits, odds are Texas, Louisiana, or the Florida Panhandle gets a Cat 5 mother.

In reply to by Tallest Skil

GUS100CORRINA Beowulf55 Sun, 09/03/2017 - 22:05 Permalink

Latest Projections Show Hurricane Irma Headed For FloridaMy response: Well this unwelcome news for the people of FL is a HOLY CRAP! Today, I saw a video that showed the wave height of the hurricane eyewall was projected to be 50+ feet high with a hang time of 16 seconds. This massive wave will flatten everything in its path.I hate to suggest this thought, but this storm could cross FL and end up in the GULF. OUCH!!!

In reply to by Beowulf55

homebody Sun, 09/03/2017 - 22:04 Permalink

But let's not prepare yet.  We don't want to visit relatives in an inland State until the hurricane makes landfall.  We like sitting on our rooftop, screaming for government help.  We have rebuilt our oceanfront house three times due to previous storms and all on public money.  We have survived Cat 3-5 hurricanes before so why leave.  RIP  

homebody Sun, 09/03/2017 - 22:12 Permalink

You will not know how bad it is until the reporters are out there getting blown over.  And there will be many people watching the surfer on the big waves.  RIP

izzee Sun, 09/03/2017 - 22:12 Permalink

Click is way way way to early to tell where on the East Coast Irma wil land.  There's a chance it will re-curve out and away, A chance it will hit So Carolina, No Carolina , cross into Virgina and end up in WVa, A Chance it will enter the Cheaspeake Bay, A chance it will ride up the coast offshore and then slam Long Island.It's sill 2000 miles away.  Start taking these more seriously this Thursday...Now it's just Hurricaine Porn

izzee homebody Sun, 09/03/2017 - 22:29 Permalink

I did not say, don't take this storm seriously.  I did not say, don't have a plan and get prepared. I did say, none of these "forcasters" knows where on the East Cosat it will hit this far in advance.  There is only ONE chance that it will turn and go out to sea.  But right near 8-10 places it CAN make landfall. The Odds favor a Hit.

In reply to by homebody

homebody izzee Sun, 09/03/2017 - 23:02 Permalink

So, get caught in Florida or on the Carolina coast, .... or any coast going north.  I'm sure the highways will be clear in ten days, lots of fuel and water available,  ....  learned nothing from Katrina or Harvey.  Don't want to panic until the water is at your chest.

In reply to by izzee

bluez homebody Mon, 09/04/2017 - 06:14 Permalink

As the stupid ZH chart makes clear. Irma could go anywhere. And it will be a Cat-7. And the "season" has only just begun.Also the Norks have the H-bomb.Also big earthquakes around Yellowstone.Also the Ring of Fire is shaking up the West Coast.But Florida is due for another ass kicking, and Big Foot was seen hopping a freight train for Georgia, or maybe even W. Virginia.Being I live in a quaint village 150' above sea level, Big Foot is my main concern.Oh wait: Synthetic Genomics Inc, and was created and funded directly by BP - Flesh-Eating Synthetic BacteriaZombigenic Cynthia: Flesh-Eating Synthetic Bacteria that has Gone Wild

In reply to by homebody

man from glad izzee Sun, 09/03/2017 - 22:54 Permalink

I live in Florida. I am already prepping for it. Been working on the gennys today making sure they all run well. A lot more to do still. And if it doesn't hit here it is such a relief it is like a vacation. But to wait until Thursday is crazy. With Houston on everyone's mind I predict things will get in short supply faster than normal.

In reply to by izzee

delmar Jackson Sun, 09/03/2017 - 22:15 Permalink

Now is a good time to order last minute items from amazon prime to survive the aftermath of the storm and to figure out which is the closest parking garage to leave the car at on the 7th floor. I wish I still had my waterbed, it was very cool to sleep on after we lost power from Andrew for 2 weeks.