The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reports that a “potentially catastrophic” Hurricane Irma will strike the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Current predictions call for the storm to move on to Cuba and then possibly Florida by Sunday afternoon.
The 5 a.m. NHC advisory reports that Hurrican Irma maintained its potentially catastrophic 185 mph winds that make it what officials called the strongest Atlantic Basin storm in history. The barometric pressure of the storm continues to drop and is currently reported at 26.99 inches (914 mb). It is currently located about 50 miles ESE of St. Martin moving to the WNW (285 degrees) at 16 mph.
Officials warn of the potential of 15 to 20-foot storm surges along the southeastern coast of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Virgin Islands and the northern coast of Puerto Rico can expect storm surges of up to 11 feet.
While officials warn that their forecasts for Sunday have a wide margin of error, officials are now calling for the storm to move onto the southern tip of Florida on Sunday as a category four or five hurricane. Irma is expected to weaken slightly as it brushes along the northern coasts of Puerto Rico and Cuba before making its U.S. mainland landfall.
The NHC issues the following advisories:
1. Irma is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane and will bring life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to portions of the northern Leeward Islands, including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, today. Preparations should be rushed to completion.
2. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, as well as the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, with hurricane watches for portions of Haiti and the central Bahamas. Irma is likely to bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall to these areas from Wednesday night through Friday.
3. Irma could directly affect the remainder of the Bahamas and Cuba as an extremely dangerous major hurricane later this week. Residents in these areas should monitor the progress of Irma and listen to advice given by officials.
4. The chance of direct impacts from Irma beginning later this week and this weekend from wind, storm surge, and rainfall continues to increase in the Florida Keys and portions of the Florida Peninsula. However, it is too soon to specify the timing and magnitude of these
President Donald Trump signed emergency declarations in advance of Hurricane Irma for Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. President Trump’s declarations allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to respond as quickly as possible after the storm moves through the affected areas.
Follow complete coverage of Hurricane Irma on Breitbart News.