As a result, the entire state of Florida, especially South Florida, has been warned to take all possible precautions. It’s not known whether the hurricane will move on the eastern side of the state, on its western side, or go straight through it. But again, citizens are instructed to stockpile three days’ provisions and move out of Irma’s path, if possible. Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the voluntary evacuations could start as soon as Wednesday.
It’s still not clear exactly where Irma will go, but it’s definitely the kind of storm you don’t want to chance with — especially as the warnings grow more ominous.
“The chance of direct impacts from Irma later this week and this weekend is increasing in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula,” the hurricane center states. “However, it is too soon to specify the timing and magnitude of the impacts.”
Judging by the sheer size of the hurricane, it seems very likely that Florida will be at least partially hit.
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) September 5, 2017
“The hurricane force winds in Irma are wider than Florida,” tweeted Bryan Norcross, hurricane specialist at the Weather Channel. “You won’t need a direct hit to get Wilma-type winds & storm surge on both coasts.”
Elsewhere on Irma’s path, similar measures are urged.
“The decisions that we make in the next couple of hours can make the difference between life and death,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said. “This is an extremely dangerous storm.”
For a large hurricane, especially one of this size, the storm’s eyewall — the area around the relatively calm eye of the storm — is where the most damage tends to happen, and where the strongest winds tend to concentrate. But winds alone don’t make a strong hurricane. The storm surge and heavy rainfall also play a role, and a Category 5 hurricane hits all three on all aspects.
To keep an eye on Irma, you can follow: