Hurricane Irma is a massive storm in the Atlantic Ocean that residents of Miami and South Florida should already be preparing for.
As of the National Hurricane Center’s public advisory that was released at 11 a.m. ET (Wednesday, September 5), Irma remains a Category 5 hurricane moving west northwest at a speed of 16 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, which places it among the strongest hurricanes in history. It has a minimum pressure of 916 millibars.
Miami remains in the cone, which does not represent the size of the storm but rather the center’s potential path. Much of South Florida has a 70-to-80 percent probability of experiencing tropical storm-force winds, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 a.m. update. Those winds are expected to hit South Florida Friday night morning at the earliest, per the NHC graphic down below.
Most of the latest computer models show the storm turning north sooner than meteorologists initially anticipated, with the eye tracking north on the east side of Florida out in the Atlantic. Obviously these models are very fluid.
Yesterday, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez announced evacuations could be called for as early as Wednesday for Zones A and B. Check this map to see if you’re in those areas. Meanwhile, Miami Beach’s mayor asked asked residents to voluntarily evacuate on Tuesday.
Schools in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach will be closed Thursday and Friday while Monroe County (Florida Keys) schools will be closed indefinitely beginning on Wednesday. The University of Miami announced classes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday have been canceled as well and Miami-Dade County offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday.
The Miami Hurricanes’ road game at Arkansas State, planned for this Saturday, has been canceled. The NFL declared the Miami Dolphins’ home matchup with the Tampa Buccaneers will not be played on Sunday, though they haven’t made an official decision whether it could be played elsewhere or moved back later in the season.
Note: This post was last updated on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. Please note the times on the images below, as not all of them are updated with each NHC update. We’ll update this as we receive new info.