Irma is a very formidable hurricane that is ravaging the Windward Islands and Lesser Antilles. Many buildings are destroyed and areas are flooded from the monster hurricane. Barbuda and Barbados are utterly leveled. Jose and Katia are now hurricanes. We have three hurricanes in the Atlantic at once. The last time that happened was in September 2010 with Igor, Julia, and Karl in September 2010. There were four hurricanes at once in September 1998; Georges, Ivan, Jeanne and Karl. In August 1893, there were four hurricanes active. This is a really active pattern we are in.
That infrared satellite image is over Barbuda, which has been really devastated by Irma. I can imagine the death toll could be quite horrendous.
Here is the latest heat map from various forecast models and GFS ensemble track guidance for Irma, Katia, and Jose. The GFS goes up to 10 days. Let’s start with Irma as it is the most dangerous.
The forecast has Irma moving west-northwest. across the Atlantic. It looks more likely Irma is going to hit Florida. An area of major concern is the Miami area. It is a large urban area with many buildings and buildings under construction. If Irma hit Miami area directly, it is going to be really bad. It could be more damaging that Katrina or even Harvey! It looks like Irma may go towards Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, which is too early to tell.
Irma remains a dangerous Category 5 hurricane with 185 mph 296 km/h 161 knots hurricane. It has gusts of 235 mph 376 km/h 204 knots. The central pressure has dropped to 914 millibars. No hurricane in the Atlantic has maintained 180 mph 288 km/h 157 knots for that long! This is really telling!
The intensity forecast model keeps Irma as a Category 5 hurricane and weakens within 36 hours. Intensity forecasting is not that accurate as we have a long way to go. I would not be surprised if Irma becomes stronger with 190 mph 304 km/h 165 knot winds or greater! The central pressure is at its lowest as of right now.
Here is Hurricane Jose.
Jose looks to be a fish storm. However, I could not rule out another landfall after Irma, but that is too early to tell right now. Looking at Jose, I think it has a chance of being our next major hurricane.
Some of the forecast models have Jose as a major hurricane in the next 2 days. I think it could be a major hurricane as early as tomorrow.
Lastly, there is Katia.
The current forecast models have Katia making landfall on Mexico. The chance of Katia going northward towards Texas is low at this time. That is a good thing as they are still reeling from Harvey.
Most forecast models have Katia intensifying. A couple of them have Katia becoming a major hurricane in 36 hours. Again, I would not be surprised if Katia became a major hurricane as well. The Bay of Campeche is favorable for hurricanes to undergo rapid intensification.
Let’s go back to Irma. Currently, Irma is north of Puerto Rico. Here is the most recent Doppler radar from San Juan.
This is what a Category 5 monster looks like on Doppler radar. Despite being north of the island, the weather is really bad right now. Puerto Rico is experiencing tropical storm force winds with occasional hurricane force gusts.
The one hour rainfall totals are nothing short of impressive.
The southern eyewall have extremely heavy rain. Doppler radar estimates up to 8 inches/20.3 centimeters per hour! That is some intense stuff right there!
All forecast models are subject to change.
Here is what I think will happen.
-Irma will maintain and may get stronger.
-Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba could be effected. Would not rule out a landfall.
-Bahamas could be next before Florida.
-Florida better prepare for Irma.
Everyone in Irma’s path better be super prepared for this. Irma is one vicious hurricane.
The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance, National Hurricane Center, and NWS San Juan. Special thanks to all of them.