The writing is on the wall, a devastating hurricane is on the way to the Sunshine State. Barring some radical change, there is now good model consensus that Irma will strike southern and eastern Florida as a major hurricane Saturday night and Sunday. The screaming message, get out of Dodge, or in this case Florida.
The EURO, whose skill scores are unmatched by other models shows this for a Florida landfall.
The GFS which has been much further east came in with this solution. Playing catch-up to the EURO once again. It's still a bit further east and 30mb deeper. A very intense hurricane!
The WRF also deals a devastating blow to Miami.
Here's the tracks of the various hurricane models.
The ensembles of the EURO EPS.
The GEFS ensembles
The official track of the National Hurricane Center Thursday night.
As it stands now about 80% of the state of Florida will experience tropical storm force winds. 50% far greater than that!
*The National Hurricane Center in their late Thursday forecast package adjusted the track of Irma slightly to the left, suggesting the circulation center will go northward, right up the gut of Florida. This has big implications for the Florida Atlantic coast; there is high potential for major storm surge and wind damage for the major cities there Sunday and Sunday night, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, and Jacksonville.
*Orlando could see hurricane force winds during the day Sunday with potential for significant tree and power line damage, and some structural damage.
*The west coast cities like Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Fort Myers, and Naples will also see lots of wind and rain with potential for downed trees and power lines. Storm surge damage is most likely from Naples south. But, impact will not be as high as what we expect on the Atlantic coast side of the peninsula.
I will say, it's still just a bit too early to be definitive on Irma's track but the window for Florida is closing fast. The storm better make a shift Friday or it's all over but the clean-up.
Here in the Midwest we'll be safe and sound as well as high and dry the entire weekend as the chaos evolves to the southeast. Somebody's bad weather is somebody else's good weather and this time that's us! Make your weekend plans outdoors. Roll weather...TS