#HurricaneIrma Now Category 5 with 175 MPH Winds

NHC has issued a special advisory regarding extremely dangerous Hurricane Irma. Reports from NOAA and U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate Irma continues to strengthen and maximum sustained winds have increased to near 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts – an extremely dangerous 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 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).

Irma is centered as of 8 a.m. AST/EDT about 270 miles (440 km) east of Antigua, moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest tonight. On the forecast track, the dangerous core of Irma will move near or over portions of the northern Leeward Islands tonight and early Wednesday.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands,
U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with
Haiti. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Guadeloupe
and Dominica. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engao to Isla Saona.

Users are reminded to not focus on the exact forecast track, especially at the longer ranges, since the average NHC track errors are about 175 and 225 statute miles at days 4 and 5, respectively. For more information, including Irma’s impacts of storm surge, wind and rain, go directly to the NHC website –

The next complete advisory will be issued by the National Hurricane Center at 11 a.m. AST/EDT - www.hurricanes.gov