3 P.M. Sunday, Sept 10, 2017
Irma Should hit land soon
“Ground truth” so far has been far below NHC predictions
Weakening Irma is now a low Cat 3 and could drop to a 2 in a few hours. Cuba took out a lot of Irma’s punch yesterday and she did rebound a bit overnight. Now, however, even with the eye still at sea, a large part of the eastern half of Irma is over Florida. Plus, a pocket of drier air is invading the southwestern quadrant of the storm. The result is a weakening Irma. Her current path should put her over Marco Island within a hour. Then move north to Naples, Sanibel Island and Cape Coral during the next 4-5 hours. With the exception of some of the Keys, the above mentioned places will most likely see the worst that Irma has to offer. While certainly significant, the current wind field contains only about 73% of the force compared to the wind field predicted yesterday.
So, Irma in her present condition poses much less of a threat than had been predicted for days. A lot of the extreme conditions that had been hyped for days will not happen, but 110-120 mph winds can still cause a LOT of damage.
Note: It still looks like the remnants of Irma will bring rain to Kentucky beginning Tuesday and ending Thursday. So kudos to the GFS model which was the first model I know of that picked up on this idea. (2-3 days ahead of the other major models.) A lot of forecasters deride the GFS and prefer to use the European Model. But, in this case the GFS was the clear winner.