Hurricane Irma Strengthens To Category 5 Overnight

The Weather Channel reports:

Hurricane Irma has strengthened into a dangerous Category 5 hurricane as it bears down on the Leeward Islands, and will rake through the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispañola, the Bahamas and Cuba before posing a dangerous threat to Florida and parts of the Southeast beginning this weekend.

The center of Irma is located just under 300 miles east of the Leeward Islands and is moving westward at about 15 mph. Irma’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 175 mph based on data from NOAA and Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

By this weekend, Irma will begin to turn north in the direction of a departing southward dip in the jet stream that will set up in the eastern United States. Where that northward turn occurs will be critical for what impacts Irma may bring to parts of the southeastern United States.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]
    • Robincho

      Irma La Douche…

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        Winner winner, chicken dinner!

      • Acronym Jim

        That photo above is of Irma La DOUCE. Irma La Douche provides a more specialized service.

        Your version is still a more fitting name for a hurricane though.

    • TuuxKabin

      What I’ll be wearing, arriving Chiago/Union Station. With luggage. Easy to recognize me, sure.

      • Joe in PA

        But we knew this. 🙂

        Love the dog!

    • Beagle

      Looks like My Friend Irma.

  • Kruhn

    I’m worried. My little brother lives in Puerto Rico and although it may be a glancing blow to the Island, I don’t recall ever getting hit by a Category 5. It’s going to be bad! And global warming is a hoax, right Donnie Two Scoops?

    • Rambie

      I have friends down in the DR so I’m worried for them as well.

    • Tulle Christensen

      Yes I have to call my bother in law to make sure my hubbys (may he rest in peace) mom who lives near Ponce PR to make sure is gonna be ok. I would call her but she speaks very little English, I do call her every mothers day though

      • Sandrachedrick

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    • Todd20036

      Glancing blow means a lot of rain, some wind, and dangerous rip tides.

      It should not mean too much property damage… if Irma misses the islands.

    • Jeffg166

      I have a friend who was visiting his sister in Puerto Rico during a hurricane. He didn’t think it was that bad until his sister started to scream.

    • Gustav2

      David Brooks Blames Al Gore For GOP Climate Change Denial

      http://crooksandliars.com/2017/09/david-brooks-blames-al-gore-gop-climate

    • Ninja0980

      Same here.
      All we can do is cross our fingers.

  • Sam_Handwich
    • Rambie

      Besides the horrible damage to others that don’t deserve it, maybe Irma will take out both of Trump’s FL and NJ courses.

    • thom

      Getting evacuation ready here in Savannah.

    • Todd20036

      Whoa, DC could be targeted too

      On the serious plus side, looks like Houston will be spared this.

      • Joe in PA

        Hey, what about your mom? Isn’t she in south FLA?

        • Silver Badger

          That was the first question that came to me too. Perhaps it’s time for her to make a long visit.

    • billbear1961

      New York?

      NO!!

      • TuuxKabin

        Why not?

    • Stubenville

      The European model is the one to watch; it was the only one to accurately predict Sandy. Supposedly the Europeans have more powerful computers. But yikes! The entire length of Florida?

      The only amusing thing that might come from this would be Ted Cruz contorting himself into a pretzel trying to win disaster funds for Texas while simultaneously denying them for Florida.

      Do Hoverounds work under water? Just asking for a friend.

  • DreadPikathulhu

    It’s disaster after disaster. Be safe, everybody.

  • Karl Dubhe

    The butterflies are upset. 🙁 Here’s hoping against hope that that monster turns North East and becomes a storm for the fishes.

  • JW Swift

    Aw, shit. My plans to bug-out, if necessary, with my camper from here in Ft. Lauderdale and head inland to more central Florida is now in jeopardy. This thing is big enough that winds in the Inland areas could be too much for my little camper to handle, plus it could now just as easily come up the western coast of FL, and send a lot of wind and rain close to where I was planning to go.

    • Rambie

      Stay safe, get to higher ground if you can.

      • JW Swift

        Thanks.

        • billbear1961

          I’d get as far away from it as possible, JW!

        • Silver Badger

          You’re welcome in Colorado. Get ready for a lot of Texans, though. Californians too.

      • Craig Howell

        The majestic Florida Alps may not offer much solace, I fear.

        • Rambie

          No, he may need to look farther North, like Colorado. 😉

          • Silver Badger

            Colorado is full. We will find room for temporary guests though.

          • Rambie

            Fine then, we’ll take JW here in IL. :p 😉

      • Tulle Christensen

        The higher ground is in central Florida or the panhandle near the Alabama border, most of the state is less than 20 feet above sea level

      • AltheaTheCat

        There really isn’t any higher ground in south Florida!

        • Rambie

          I know, been there many times. I’d take the camper into GA or AL if I were JW to be safe.

        • thecdn

          There is that land fill in Pompano Beach……

          From my house in sw Calgary I could see the tops of the Rockies. The ‘terrain’ in south Florida is pretty blah.

    • thecdn

      I’m in the Ft. Lauderdale area as well. Getting the house ready, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst. As JW said, doesn’t look like any place in FL is good now. If only we didn’t hate all our relatives in Canada 🙂

      • hudson11

        But there will be Canadian JMGers that will take you in. Family be dammed!

    • Beagle

      If northern Georgia isn’t too far, Athens is a nice place to spend a while.

  • Michael R

    Well at least hurricane season is almost over
    What ?
    November 30th ?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ecd0ecde9ad7a31c0ca8fb2d73280dfc70e4850ba42c1ab8f3c13c27cee75066.jpg

  • Dan M

    If it has to hit Florida can I suggest Mar A Lago?

    • billbear1961

      Ah, the message from the gods should that palace of EVIL be wiped from the map!

  • DaddyRay
    • David Walker

      Which is the “any” key?

  • Jmdintpa

    Southeast of Tampa here. Watching and heading out to store this morning. Its all over the TV here so all the panic will set in the next few days. I need little Debbbie Cakes, sardines, hot sauce, potted meat, 420 and more water. Its so big if it come up the state as predicted no place to evacuate to. Just hold on baby!

    • Ginger Snap

      Little Debbie to the rescue, stay safe.

    • Treant

      Is 420 the best idea? “Oh. The roof blew off. That looked awesome!

      • Karl Dubhe

        Keeping calm in a disaster is one of the most important things.

        Even if you were sober, you’d have issues when your roof blew off. 🙂

        • Steve

          On the upside though… your homeowners will cover your loss for the wind damage to the roof. So if your roof blows off and rains gets in, your covered. Flood damage is separate coverage, and most people are not covered for floods because it is hideously expensive, especially in place along the coast.

      • Silver Badger

        Yes it is.

      • Jmdintpa

        yes it is.. been through Opal and lived here in the mid 2000s. Trust me a couple of days in the heat, no power, you take anything to help you sleep. lol

    • Steve

      No bread & milk? Up here in SC those always sell out first. I live upstate so we will not get the worst of it. But in snowstorms bread and milk go first.
      And what is 420? Just Googled…never mind. The Little Debbie’s will come in handy.

      • David Walker

        Same here when a snow storm approaches…load up on the bread, eggs, and milk. I mean, why NOT make French toast during a blizzard?

        • TuuxKabin

          ‘cuz the eggs.

    • John30013

      I was planning on driving down to New Smyrna Beach for my annual vacation this coming weekend, but I’ve already decided to postpone it. Looks like I made the right call.

    • billbear1961

      Hold on!

      🙁

    • Joe in PA

      Damn I’m old…I had to google “420”. 🙁

      Seriously, I thought it was some brand of scotch. 🙂 Wasn’t the chick from Philadelphia drinking Fireball 500 whiskey or something? 🙂

      • Amanda B. Rekendwith

        I had to google “420”
        Sure, Jan.
        Happens to also be a great temperature for roasting brussels sprouts.

        • TuuxKabin

          Brussies! Can’t wait for them to be at the farmers’ market.

    • Keith D Plane

      geez potted meat??!!! I used to work for Hormel and made that crap. Do you know what’s in that? God I can still smell that stuff!

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        Ha yeah, he’d be better off with a bag of Friskies

    • Bryan

      Whaaaat? None of those frosted little animal crackers?

  • TexasBoy

    Good luck, Florida! I hope Irma doesn’t do a lot of damage..

  • billbear1961
    • Joe in PA

      That was sad. 🙁 But good. 🙂

      • billbear1961

        Good morning, sweetie.

        • Joe in PA

          And a hearty good morning to you as well Mister Bear!

  • netxtown

    Sitting hi & dry here in north texas – it’s all too easy to say ‘get outta there!’ And I get it that it boils down to that ‘do i stay or do i go’ – damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    Me? I’d be on the road outta there.At worst, you will have a jump on all the others looking for a new home. At best, you’ll have one to go back to.

    • Joe in PA

      My in-laws made the decision to ride out Katrina (they lived in Gulfport…but about a mile inland). They were ok but said they will not do that again. We’ve been encouraging them to move. But….

  • billbear1961

    Go stand on the coastline and command Irma to depart, DRUMPF!

  • There is no getting away from this. Irma is a bad Category 5 Hurricane. It will do one of three things after it marches across the north side of Puerto Rico (with or without a direct eyewall hit), Hispaniola, and the South Bahamas –
    1. Slam into Cuba and head north into Florida (Cuba will probably take some of the wind punch out) – and heading north —
    2. Hit South Florida head on, either as a 4 or 5, and potentially be another Hurricane Andrew before heading north
    3. Taking a turn away from Florida but potentially hitting the Atlantic Coast north of Florida, anywhere from North Carolina to New York.
    #2 is the aggregate model today. It is too early to tell. There will not be a confident call to make until Thursday. Any slight variation can easily change the variation of the course of the storm.
    Check Tropical Tidbits — for the up to date National Hurricane Center forecast and a very good analysis and model collection. https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/

    • thecdn

      Hadn’t seen Tropical Tidbits before – very informative site. Thanks a lot. Now I’ll be able to watch Armageddon coming that much better.

      • David Walker

        Miss Periwinkle: Use the word “Armageddon” in a sentence.
        Bubba: If that storm be comin’, Armageddon oudda here.

    • Jmdintpa

      There reporting Thursday is the day we find out who gonna get it, who gets a taste and who gets to stand down.

      • Yes. But even then we will not know exactly where the eyewall (the massive winds) will hit — that is what is getting me concerned – 180 mph head on winds are devastating.

    • JWC

      where in this mess are you?

  • HandyAndy

    My house is the green dot on this map. Probably going to have to evacuate on Thursday or Friday unless the forecast track changes again in the next couple of days. Trying to make a list of the things that can fit into my car that I wouldn’t want to lose. There’s only one road to the mainland in the Keys, so they evacuate us in zones. I’ll have to be on standby for the Zone 2 evacuation. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4545f14671788515d1c06d69460835234df9bde814e65dfc7a8045803612edc1.png

    • Joe in PA

      Yikes. Stay safe.

    • clay

      Storm surge could swamp everything by the Cemetery. Three days to get evacuated. Lovely to visit, not sure I want to live there.

    • Tulle Christensen

      Avoid the major traffic jam and evac before they call for a evac

      • HandyAndy

        I could potentially be ready to leave by tomorrow afternoon. In addition to packing the car, I have to get everything not bolted down moved into the garage. I have four coconut palm trees in the backyard, and as a result there are three sizeable piles of fallen coconuts that I hadn’t gotten rid of yet. Yesterday, when we were out enjoying the day off, my neighbor left us a polite passive-aggressive note on our door reminding us that coconuts turn into missiles in a hurricane, and asking if we could please finally pick up our nuts before they kill somebody.

        • David Teager

          Your nuts are potentially deadly?

          • HandyAndy

            When they’re flying at your face at 140 mph, they could definitely do some damage.

          • Here in Delray Beach they send notices out before storms that if you have anything that can turn into a flying projectile outside your house it will be removed by the town and you will be billed for the privilege. I expect the notices to go out tomorrow.

        • TuuxKabin

          Get your nuts off the ground and get out of there, and tell your neighbor to not stick around either.

    • Jmdintpa

      Im hearing tourist out the Keys on Wednesday everyone else Thursday. Could rival the 1935 labor day storm. Im still hoping somehow a front comes and saves the day. Stay safe and this one means business if it moves as predicted.

      • The 1935 Labor Day storm had recorded winds of 185 mph at landfall — which is unimaginable. It is only one of 3 Hurricanes to stay at category 5 (Camille and Andrew are the other 2) at landfall.

        • JCF

          Didn’t Katrina hit Mississippi at Cat 5?

    • JCF

      Stay safe, Andy!

  • Bison Burgher
    • clay

      That’s the name of the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

      • Bison Burgher

        You’re thinking of Hispaniola.

  • Marides48

    A dangerous threat to Florida?
    Isn’t Mar A Lago in Florida?
    Just saying.

    • Trump undoubtedly has insurance to cover any loss, and it is not his primary residence. I live a few miles from there — as does my Mom in a senior place, and we are not rich by any means — so it is the common people in South Florida who are going to suffer. Also we lost power for almost three weeks and drinkable water during Wilma 12 years ago — I was able to evacuate Mom during that to Orlando — but it is going to be much harder to do this during this storm which is a category 5 and not a category 2. I am starting to really worry now.

  • zhera

    Well, fuck. And right on Irma’s tail is Jose. It’s gonna be a wet fall. 🙁

    Hang on tight, everybody.

    • Jose is projected to move out to sea by all reliable models.

      • zhera

        OK. But doesn’t that mean it’ll hit land farther north? Or will the drop in temperature calm it down?

        • The ridge that is keeping Irma south is pushing Jose out according to all the reliable models — but it is too early of course. It is still very early in the Hurricane Season, the fact that we are at “J” on 9/5 is making this year look like a bad one. October Hurricanes can also form. Check here for the Jose models. https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/storminfo/

  • BeaverTales

    HOU is one of the busiest airport hubs in the country. This makes me afraid to fly through HOU all of a sudden. What if the plane is inspected by someone who lost a loved one or whose home is not getting fixed due to needing an underwriter? Air traffic controller, plane mechanic baggage carousel operator or pilot late to work for good reason, etc? Are they going to be able to pay full attention to their job? Getting enough sleep? Suddenly on new meds?

    It takes hundreds, if not thousands of people to keep things running properly.

    (non) Ergodicity of natural disasters: a.k.a. the cascading clusterfuck. How to focus on your job while surrounded by so much tragedy in the midst of large to tiny disasters?

  • Kevin Perez

    This is what happens to cars in 180 mph winds.
    https://youtu.be/EBHHs8UgUxw

  • FYI, The most devastating Hurricane in terms of casualties in the USA was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, 6000 – 12,000 people died. The 2nd deadliest cane is very similar it seems to this one, the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, which made landfall in Puerto Rico and in Palm Beach County Florida near where I am (Delray Beach) as a Category 5 — and killed an estimated 5,000 people, most of them farm workers near Lake Okeechobee — that huge lake in central South Florida which serves as an aquifer for the Everglades when a supporting dike broke — which has since been reinforced. The vast majority of deaths occur by storm surges — literal tidal waves which catch people off guard. We have satellites now, and the means to warn people to get off the beach and get to higher land — avoiding the massive death tolls of the past. In Florida and the Caribbean, the main advice is this — if you are told to evacuate, get the hell out, and make sure your automobile has a full tank to do so. Fill your car up now before it it too late! A 1928 Newspaper Headline —https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0dbea23823da6cb1cc79cd44980522c2f6458bb85caaaeeb1facd6d96efd03ed.jpg

    • JCF

      “The 2nd deadliest cane is very similar it seems to this one, the 1928
      Okeechobee Hurricane… a Category 5 — and killed an estimated 5,000 people, most of them farm workers near Lake Okeechobe”

      Perhaps this is what inspired Zora Neale Hurston in “Their Eyes Were Watching God”?