11A: #Irma Hurricane Watch in Effect for South Florida

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the distinct eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 20.4 North, longitude 69.7 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue with some decrease in forward speed for the next couple of days.  On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move just north of the coast of Hispaniola today, be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by this evening, and then be near the central Bahamas by Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts.  Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).

The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force plane was 921 mb (27.20 inches).

Nathalie Rodriguez

Nathalie Rodriguez

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