As of 2 pm AST on September 7, 2017. Irma had weakened only slightly this morning and has 175 mph sustained winds. The central pressure was 922mb. Irma is STILL a Category 5 hurricane and doing damage as it skirts along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.
Latest Irma Forecasts
Forecast tracks continue to nudge slightly east as we get a better handle on the system impacting the eastern US and how that trough will steer Irma. The 2 pm AST forecast projects Irma to start impacting southern Florida Friday evening/night. Then Irma is expected to move north along the Atlantic Florida coast Sat/Sun and then come ashore in Georgia/South Carolina Monday/Monday Night. There is still uncertainty in the fine details of Irma’s track and intensity forecast. As we learned with Hurricane Matthew those subtle features can make a huge difference.
Watches For The US
The National Hurricane Center issued this morning a Storm Surge Watch for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys. Storm surge resulting in significant flooding along the coast is highly concerning with this track.
In addition, the National Hurricane Center issued this morning a Hurricane Watch for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.
Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane for the next couple of days. Everyone in the solid white and dotted white area in the graphic above needs to remain informed of the details of Irma and heed local official orders, especially if you are told to evacuate. If you are at risk from storm surge, move items up if possible.
- If you are near the coast or a Bayou, do you know your flood risk from storm surge?
- If you experience inland flooding, do you know if you are in/near the 100yr flood plain? We saw flooding well into areas that are considered 500year flood plain with Harvey. Irma could cause VERY heavy rainfall so significant inland flooding is possible.
- Will you need extra gas for chain saws in case you have tree/brush damage?
- Will you need to evacuate? If you are a direct hit or at risk from storm surge, you may need to evacuate. Do you have items ready to go including contact information, important numbers, copies of insurance, etc. as well as a plan on where you will go?
What Farmers and Livestock Owners Should Start Doing Today
Livestock owners in Florida and even into Georgia and South Carolina, prepare NOW for a strong Hurricane to impact you this weekend and into early next week.
- If you have livestock in low lying areas, identify where you can move them to minimize the chance of them being trapped in a flooded pasture.
- Will you have enough help on the farm/ranch to respond to the storm – consider having workers stay on site before the storm begins. Do you have enough food, water, sleeping arrangements for them to stay on the ranch?
- If you are in South Carolina and Georgia and your crops are ready for harvest, consider harvesting what you can and store at higher ground. You likely will have wind and flooding damage with Irma.
- Move Farm equipment away from areas at risk of being flooded.
For other tips on preparing for and recovering from hurricanes on your ranch, Texas AgriLife has some good information.
The team at WxIntegrations will continue to provide relevant information and resources to help you better understand and prepare by incorporating weather impacts into your planning and response.
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