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Irma Update–11.00 ET

September 9, 2017

By Paul Homewood


[Image of probabilities of 64-kt winds]


I suppose any news is good news in this situation, but the latest advisory from NHC has shifted the hurricane track slightly further west and also downgraded the wind speed.

As Irma has stayed close to Cuba for longer than anticipated wind speeds have now dropped to 125 mph. They will certainly pick up again as Irma crosses water again.

The new track has Irma moving up the Gulf off the west coast of Florida, before probably making landfall near Tampa on Sunday evening.. The fear is the warm Gulf water will rack up wind speeds again. However, there is a forecast of  westerly shear developing during tomorrow, which hopefully will keep the lid on things.

The latest advisory has sustained wind speeds of 140 mph around landfall. This is still catastrophic, but better than the previous forecast of 150 mph.


The westerly track will also hopefully bring a little bit of respite to the more populous east coast, at least in comparison to what was predicted earlier.

Nevertheless, the Keys are going to get absolutely hammered. Tampa also looks set to bear the brunt, but at least storm surge should be less of a problem than it would have been on the east coast, as the winds will be blowing offshore.

NHC advisories will now be broadcast hourly.

  1. RAH permalink
    September 9, 2017 4:54 pm


    The NHC track maps show the hurricane passing directly over Key West and running right up the west coast. The 3rd “M” (going north) on the map is right over our families vacation home in Port Charlotte.

    As a general rule for these storms a few miles can make a big difference but the TS force and hurricane force wind field of this storm are relatively huge. Even with the eye hugging the coast of Cuba the very southern portion of the Florida main land is seeing TS force winds up to 60 mph.

    It seems if this storm is going to match the current track map it better start it’s turn north. It has slowed some and that often happens just before a hurricane turns.

  2. September 9, 2017 5:51 pm

    The ‘Overseas Railroad’ used to run to the Florida Keys until the 1935 hurricane destroyed large chunks of track and storm surges overturned some rolling stock. After that it was converted into the Overseas Highway (U.S. 1).

    • September 9, 2017 6:36 pm

      Irma could potentially take out the 7 mile bridge, stranding Key West indefinitely. Predicted storm surge to ten feet topped by 15+foot waves will easily reach significant portions of it at both ends. And it was not constructed post Andrew.

  3. September 9, 2017 6:30 pm

    Paul, the storm surge will actually be much worse, only after the eye passes rather than before.The Gulf side is much shallower than the Atlantic side. You can wade out several hundred meters in places on Naples beaches. On the east side Fort Lauderdale beach I live on, you go out 50 meters and you have to swim necause water is head high when still. Our three coral reef bands about 400 meters offshore are respectively 5 meters, 15 meters, and 30 meters deep. The first is snorkelable, I can personally assure you. Seafloor topography means the surge piles up much higher on the Gulf side. Naples is expecting 15 feet of surge! Tampa 8 feet. The only place on the east side of the Florida peninsula where that is possible is Biscayne Bay in Miami because of a funnel effect. And on top of the surge, waves. We are not yet at sustained TS winds here (building AC still on, and they have to shut down the rooftop chillers at TS windspeeds) and we have at least 8 footers smashing the reef, then rebuilding to 6 footers pounding the beach. Its quite a spectacle.

    • Athelstan permalink
      September 9, 2017 6:57 pm

      I watched CNN met man, he was saying something similar that, Fl will get it on both coasts, will you be OK?

      Don’t wanna lose your info, insight and knowledge, it is, educational, a good read too.

      Seriously bud – batten down, then buckle up, open something very cold [maybe].

  4. Green Sand permalink
    September 9, 2017 8:35 pm


    Under the Telegraph’s ‘Science’

    ‘First Hurricane Harvey, now Irma: Are we entering a new age of apocalyptic storms?’

    “…..Scientists blame global warming, saying rising sea temperatures have made naturally-occurring weather events more powerful. So is this the beginning of a new era of apocalyptic storms?

    It’s true hurricanes seem to be getting worse. The average number of category 4+ storms per year has more than doubled since 1900, and their wind speed has increased. A slight rise in sea levels also means storm surges – freak high tides which accompany hurricanes – start from a higher baseline.

    Floods like the one caused by Harvey are supposed to strike any one area only once every 500 years; Houston has seen three in three years…..”


    • September 9, 2017 8:45 pm

      No major landfalling hurricanes in the USA since 2005 until 2017. Crazy media have short/no memories.

    • RAH permalink
      September 9, 2017 9:01 pm

      “Are we entering a new age of apocalyptic storms?’” No we are still in the same old age of media ignorance and dishonesty.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 10, 2017 9:55 am

      “Floods like the one caused by Harvey are supposed to strike any one area only once every 500 years; Houston has seen three in three years…..”

      Never ceases to amaze me that papers publish articles that self-evidently don’t understand the subject.

      In the above example, why start counting the years three years ago and why end now? If there hasn’t been flooding like that for 1,500 years then it’s three in 1,500, or one every 500 years.

      • September 10, 2017 8:18 pm

        In a way, Phoenix, it is worse than that. What the 1/500 year flood risk means is that in any one year the risk is 0.5% on average, given enough time and trials. It is possible to get 500 year floods every year for several years.

  5. Alaskan Sea permalink
    September 9, 2017 10:05 pm

    Climate change feeding frenzy on Facebook, I had to come over here for some sanity. I have the impression that people are somehow enjoying the death and destruction.

  6. RAH permalink
    September 9, 2017 10:28 pm

    Joe Bastardi has just put up his first weekend update video. It is NOT good news. He thinks that Irma will come ashore in the vicinity of Port Charlotte, FL as a Category 5 with gusts up to 150 mph.

    Joe and his guys at are as good as anyone at projecting hurricane storm tracks and intensity. He called the shift of the track to the west hours before the NHC moved their track west of Miami.

    To watch the video on the free side of his sight click this link:

    Then look to the right for the Video titled “Saturday Summary” and click it.

  7. tom0mason permalink
    September 9, 2017 10:52 pm

    It does not look good, and after the ECMWF model has hurricane Jose hitting the east coast of USA.

    • RAH permalink
      September 10, 2017 12:20 am

      Joe is saying Jose is going to be a problem for the US also. Believes it will weaken then regain strength to a CAT 3 coming in somewhere in the vicinity of Cape Hatteras, NC. But that is of course preliminary.

      • tom0mason permalink
        September 10, 2017 8:39 am

        Yes RAH, it the modeled world of encoded guess work probabilities — where will Jose go? Your guess is probably as good as anyone’s.

  8. dave permalink
    September 10, 2017 9:30 am

    • Green Sand permalink
      September 10, 2017 9:45 am

  9. Green Sand permalink
    September 10, 2017 9:52 am

    Just when you think there maybe an outbreak of commonsense:-

    ”Mini’ nuclear reactors could help solve Britain’s energy crunch and cut a third off bills, ministers hope’

    On the very next page you realise there are still numpties doing untold amounts of damage!

    ‘Tidal lagoon developer to sign grid deal for £8bn Cardiff project’

    Ho hum…..

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