Irma nears southern Florida, continues to track northwest

- Irma is currently a category three storm off the north shore of Cuba with 120 mph winds. It has started to move back over open water with a slight shift to the northwest, and is trying to rebuild its core. 

As Irma slides towards Key West it’s expected to strengthen slightly but remain a category three with 125 mph winds before making impacting. The track over the west coast of Florida is a little farther west bringing Irma’s landfall just south of Tampa (Cat 3 at landfall). 

RELATED: Many Floridians evacuate, head to the Carolinas

Irma will ride along the west coast of Florida gradually weakening to a tropical storm by the time it gets to the southeast corner of Georgia. We expect the storm to turn and cut through the middle of Alabama, northeast corner of Mississippi before ending up in western Tennessee and Kentucky.

Our area will feel some impacts, but the westerly track will spare us from the worst of the storm. Heavy rain and strong winds will move through the Carolinas on Monday and Tuesday.

RELATEDIrma shifts westward, new path could be good news for Carolinas

Late Monday into Tuesday morning we could see 25-35 mph winds with gusts to 45-50 mph. By the end of this event rainfall totals will be around one to three inches with locally higher amounts in spots (heaviest in southwest, lightest in northeast). 

The FOX 46 Weather Team is keeping a close eye on Irma, tracking the hurricane’s progress and potential impact on the Carolinas.

RELATEDHurricane Irma brings death, destruction to the Caribbean

Irma is coming off the heels of Harvey, which caused massive damage and severe flooding in southeast Texas. Harvey dropped historically high rainfall amounts that caused catastrophic flooding in the Houston area and other parts of the Lone Star State.

These aren’t the only hurricanes the U.S. has experienced this season, and the season is far from over. Here is a look at the season so far.

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season So Far…

The 2017 hurricane season has already been one to talk about and we are not even half way through! So far, we have seen 8 named storms with the first one developing back in April. Most of the cyclones this season have remained in the tropical storm category, but four of the storms strengthened to hurricane status with two becoming a major hurricane.

Atlantic Hurricane Season

Tropical Storm Highlights…

It has not only been an active season; we’ve also seen some significant events. The most recent and memorable storm of 2017 was Harvey. This Cat 4 hurricane caused catastrophic damage and record breaking flooding over southeast Texas. After spinning over Texas for a few days, Harvey moved back into the Gulf near Louisiana. Harvey then made one more final turn to the north and eventually making a second landfall in SE Louisiana. This storm will definitely go down in the history books.

NOAA Hurricane Map

*First major hurricane to hit the US since Wilma in 2005
*First Category 4 storm to make landfall in Texas since Carla in 1961
*First Category 4 storm to make landfall in the US since Charley in 2004

Harvey wasn’t the only big talker this season! Here is a look at a few more highlights.

Arlene

*Tropical Storm Arlene developed on April 19th in the northern Atlantic Ocean. This was the first     tropical storm to develop in April since Ann in 2003. Arlene was one of two storms ever recorded in April and was the stronger of the two.

Arlene

*In mid-June a rare low-latitude tropical storm developed and struck the Island of Trinidad. Bret was the earliest storm to form in the in the Main Development Region on record. It was the lowest latitude named storm since 1933 for the month of June.

Hurricane BrettPhoto Courtesy: Weather Underground

*Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall around the Texas and Louisiana border on June 22. This was the first tropical cyclone to strike Louisiana since Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

Hurricane Track

*Franklin became the first hurricane of the season on August 9th.  After crossing over the Yucatan Peninsula as a tropical storm, Franklin quickly intensified to hurricane status in the Bay of Campeche. It only lasted about 5 hours before making landfall in Mexico and weakening rapidly.

Hurricane Track

We are approaching the peak of hurricane season on September 10, but it doesn’t officially end until November 30. The first half has been pretty active, let’s hope the second half is much quieter!

Be sure to follow FOX 46 Charlotte on Facebook and Twitter for the latest on Irma's track and intensity. Now is a good time to download the FOX 46 Weather App to receive instant alerts about the storm. You can also download the FOX 46 News App for breaking news alerts. 

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