Hurricane Irma remains a Category 3 hurricane heading into the Labor Day weekend. While confidence is high that it will maintain a Westward track through the weekend, long range forecasts begin to turn the storm to the east northeast beyond Labor Day. Forecast models vary widely beyond a five day projection and it is far too soon to say where this storm goes beyond a five day path.
As of Friday evening, Hurricane Irma has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, classifying it as a Category 3 storm. It’s direction was West at 13 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 964 MB. Irma has a strong and defined eye wall, and is not expected to weaken through the weekend. The Leeward Islands of the Caribbean should monitor this storm closely.
Late August through mid-September is historically the busiest time for tropical system activity, as many tropical waves move off of Africa into warm Atlantic waters. A new tropical wave has formed behind Irma, and while it is not expected to organize quickly, will likely gain some organization into next week.
We will continue to monitor this system and Hurricane Irma through the weekend. Be sure to check out http://WGNO.com for the latest information.