Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Hurricane Irma forecast to hit Florida's east coast

Image Richard Jay Dennis Seepersaue Shay Rymer Hurricane Irma forecast to hit Florida's east coast
Sammy Stanley | 08 September, 2017, 00:47

Now that the storm's path is becoming more defined, federal forecasters say Irma will also likely impacts parts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The supercomputer models that allow forecasters to predict the weather generally suggest that the storm will enter the Southeastern United States after passing through or sideswiping Florida.

It is expected to become a major hurricane within hours, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.

Ed Rappaport, acting director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center, told local TV station WFOR-TV that Irma is a "once-in-a-generation storm", calling it "the big one for us".

In Cuba, just 90 miles (145 km) south of the Keys, authorities posted a hurricane alert for the island's central and eastern regions, as residents in Havana, the capital, were seen waiting line lines to stock up on foodstuffs, water and gasoline. Tropical Storm watches are in place for Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis. It was moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour, putting locations in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bahamas and Turks and Caicos under hurricane warnings and the Sunshine State on high alert. The storm is expected to continue moving this direction over the next few days.

"The worst case scenario for us would be if the center of the storm Category 4 strength tracks along our coast or just offshore, we'd have storm surge issues, flooding issues, we would have a tremendous amount of wind damage", Mosely said.

Jose and Katia strengthened Wednesday afternoon, bringing the number of hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin to three.

But predicting its track is hard, especially because its journey will be decided partly by the track of Hurricane Irma, which itself is moving somewhat unpredictably across the Atlantic. "I will be on Necker alongside our team, as I have been on the three times we have had hurricanes over the past 30 years".

As of Thursday morning, Disney said its Florida parks and resorts are operating under normal conditions as the company's officials monitor Irma's path.

The closest land mass Jose will approach is the northern Leeward Islands, the same ones Irma just devastated. Instead, it's expected to curve up into the open Atlantic and become a major hurricane - Category 3 or more - with winds up to 115 miles per hour.

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