Major Hurricane Irma is centered as of 5 a.m. AST/EDT over the central tropical Atlantic Ocean about 625 miles (1010 km) east of the Leeward Islands. It is moving toward the west-southwest near 14 mph (22 km/h), and a turn toward the west is expected later today, followed by a west-northwestward turn late Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move closer to the Leeward Islands through Tuesday and then be near the northern Leeward Islands Tuesday night.
On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move closer to the Leeward Islands through Tuesday and then be near the northern Leeward Islands Tuesday night.
A Hurricane Watch continues for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy. Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area by Tuesday night, with tropical storm conditions possible by late Tuesday.
Interests in the remainder of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic should monitor the progress of Irma. Additional hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings will likely be required for portions of this area later today.
Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts – a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening through Tuesday night is forecast.
Users are reminded to not focus on the exact forecast track since strong winds and heavy rainfall extend well away from the center. In addition, average NHC track errors are about 175 and 225 statute miles at days 4 and 5, respectively.
The National Hurricane Center will issue an intermediate advisory at 8 a.m. AST/EDT, and its next complete advisory at 11 a.m. AST/EDT – www.hurricanes.gov.