Irma continues to stay a category 3 hurricane as it moves closer to Florida.
Friday night, Irma made landfall on Cuba as a category 5 hurricane. WeatherNation talked with Hurricane Hunters as they were flying through Irma and described that the storm had strengthened as it was approaching Cuba.
After making landfall, the winds decreased to 125 miles per hour, making it a category 3 storm. The interaction with Cuba weakened the hurricane, but once the circulation moves away from Cuba, Irma will restrengthen. The hurricane is expected to remain a very dangerous hurricane for the next couple days as it heads toward the Florida peninsula.
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) September 10, 2017
On Saturday evening, Irma had a minimum central pressure of 933 mb, and it was moving west at 6 mph.
As of Saturday at 11 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center has measured max winds within Irma of 120 miles per hour. The storm is expected to strengthen Saturday night and move across the lower Florida Keys around daybreak Sunday as a major hurricane. It will then travel north along, or just west of, the Florida coastline as a major hurricane, gradually weakening to a tropical storm by Monday afternoon as it moves further inland into Georgia/Alabama.
Hurricane Warnings and Hurricane Watches ahead of Irma have been extended northward. A Tornado Watch was even issued for South Florida until midnight.
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) September 9, 2017
Storm surge flooding continues to be a huge threat for those living in central and south Florida. A Storm Surge Warning is already in effect for the Florida Keys. The biggest threat for storm surge flooding remains along the southwest coast of Florida. The National Hurricane Center expects 10 to 20 feet of inundation above ground level.
The severity of this storm is nothing to be taken lightly. Continue to follow any evacuation instructions from your local officials.
Stay with WeatherNation for the very latest on Irma.