Rush Preparations, Says National Hurricane Centre
Islands in the path of Hurricane Irma are being encouraged to rush preparations ahead of the storm, which is expected to impact the island within 36 hours.
Irma is now a Category 4 storm.
At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.7 North, longitude 54.4 West. Irma is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue into Tuesday, followed by a turn toward the west-northwestward late Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move near or over portions of the northern Leeward Islands Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).
The latest minimum central pressure reported by reconnaissance aircraft is 944 mb (27.88 inches).
The government of France has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Guadeloupe.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis
* Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
* Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* British Virgin Islands
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas should monitor the progress of Irma.
Read the full report http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT1+shtml/042036.shtml