Irma roars ashore near Naples, remains a Cat 2 on Florida peninsula
Naples, FL – Hurricane Irma roared ashore in Florida for a second time, this time over Marco Island, near Naples on the Southwest Florida coast. Water levels are rising rapidly in the area where a 15 ft storm surge is possible.
The track of Irma will continue to the north-northwest over the next 24 hours, bringing flooding rains, extreme winds and a deadly storm surge up the Florida Gulf Coast. Hurricane warnings remain in effect for both sides of the Florida peninsula: the Gulf and the Atlantic. In a sign of the sheer size of Irma, hurricane warnings extend northward into South Central Georgia and tropical storm warnings reach almost to the Georgia/Tennessee state line.
Irma will be interacting with increasing wind shear and a trough moving across the Southern United States which will help to weaken it as it continues to move over land.As of Sunday evening, Irma is a high-end category two storm, with winds of 110 mph and is moving a little west of due north. On its path, Irma will continue to push into South Georgia as a strong tropical storm before it curves into Alabama and eventually up towards Memphis. By Thursday, Irma should merge with the trough and be a large rain maker with breezy conditions for the Ohio River Valley.
Saturday, Irma made landfall in the Florida keys as a dangerous category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph. This was the second time this year that a category four storm made landfall in the United States, Harvey was the first. It also marks the first time in the satellite era of hurricane tracking (since 1966) that two category four storms have made landfall in the United States during the same hurricane season.