A potentially devastating forecast track for Hurricane Irma held in place on Thursday morning, fueling fears up and down the coastlines of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
If the current track holds, this monster storm could wreak untold death and devastation from the Florida Keys all the way through the heart of central North Carolina.
According to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, Irma is currently located approximately 110 miles north of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. It is traveling west-northwest at seventeen miles per hour.
Although its wind speed has dipped incrementally, Irma remains one of the most powerful tropical systems ever recorded – with maximum sustained winds of 180 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extend outward from its core for fifty miles, while tropical storm force winds extend outward for 185 miles.
Where is it going? Take a look …
(Click to view)
That is, quite simply, a worst case scenario situation – with the upper Florida Keys and Miami taking direct hits and the coastlines of upper Florida and Georgia getting sideswiped prior to Irma making a second landfall in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
“If the center of Irma does pass near Miami and continues northward over eastern Florida, the impacts will be severe,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Mike Doll warned.
“A landfall across the Carolinas is certainly within the realm of possibilities,” Doll added.
If this forecast track holds up, the South Carolina Midlands could wind up seeing the equivalent of a direct impact from a category two hurricane.
“If this comes true this is extremely serious,” one source tracking the storm told us. “They are forecasting winds up to 115 miles per hour for the midlands. People really need to be preparing now.”
To download the latest Hurricane Guide from the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), CLICK HERE (.pdf).
Irma is currently projected to arrive in Florida during the early morning hours of Sunday, September 10 with South Carolina getting its taste of the storm during the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 12.
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