Irma zeroes in on southwest Florida

There are two active hurricanes in  the tropics. Hurricane Katia will make landfall overnight in Mexico, has weakened to a tropical depression and will not affect the US. Hurricane Jose is forecast to turn north and move across the southern Atlantic and not affect the US. Hurricane Irma is moving this way and will make landfall in southwest Florida Sunday morning.

The eye of Hurricane Irma  is moving toward the west near 12 mph, along the north coast of Cuba. A northwest motion is expected to begin later today with a turn toward the north-northwest tonight or on Sunday. On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba this morning, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to be near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.

The interaction with the terrain of Cuba has weakened the hurricane a little. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 125 mph with higher gusts, but Irma remains a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Irma is forecast to restrengthen once it moves away from Cuba, and Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 milesfrom the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba this morning, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to be near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.

Hurricane force winds will move up the west coast of Florida Sunday through Monday.

Rain from Irma will move into south Florida this evening.

The eye is the storm will approach southwest Florida Sunday morning.

Irma’s eye will make landfall near Naples by noon Sunday

The strongest winds will be near Ft. Myers by Sunday afternoon.

The strongest winds will affect Tampa by Sunday evening.

The strongest winds will move into northern Florida by Monday morning.

The eye of Hurricane Jose is located 160 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands. Jose is moving toward the northwest near 13 mph . A continued northwest motion is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the core of Jose will pass close to or just east of the northern Leeward Islands later today.

Maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph with higher gusts. Jose is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuation in intensity, up or down, could occur during the next 24 hours. Afterward, gradual weakening is expected to occur.

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