Tracking Irma: Update, Forecast for Coastal Empire & Lowcountry

Irma is a category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph with higher gusts.  Irma is moving to the N at 1 mph.

Here is the latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center:

5pm Sunday Update and Forecast Track of Hurricane Irma.

A HURRICANE WATCH is in effect along our coastal counties including the city Savannah. This means hurricane force winds (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible in these areas.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING is in effect for the counties shaded in the map below. This means tropical storm force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph winds) are possible in these areas.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH for the entire Coastal Empire and Lowcountry, as some areas could pick up a foot of rain. 

STORM SURGE WARNING for all Coastal Counties

FORECAST DETAILS:

TONIGHT: Tropical storm conditions developing. Cloudy with showers and isolated thunderstorms. Low in the mid-60s. Winds northeast at 30 to 40 with gusts up to 55 mph. Higher gusts possible on the immediate coast.

HURRICANE IRMA IMPACTS:

MONDAY through MONDAY NIGHT / EARLY TUESDAY MORNING: Heavy bands of rainfall… strong winds… isolated tornadoes and storm inundation on the coast.

WIND: There is potential for moderate to major wind damage to trees and structures… leading widespread power outages. Strong and damaging winds possible from the coast to far inland. The wind will increase on Monday, sustained 40-60 mph with gusts to 70 mph. The highest wind will be felt in our southern counties (south of I-16) and along the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

TORNADOES: With the west trend of the forecast tornadoes will be possible in rain bands to the north and east of the storm center.

STORM TOTAL RAINFALL: Widespread 3 – 6″ across our South Carolina counties and 4-8″ across our Georgia counties, with isolated higher amounts. These significant rainfall totals could result in flash flooding.

STORM SURGE: As hurricane Irma approaches water levels will continue to rise, bringing a flooding threat along the coast. Current projections indicate a possible storm surge of 4-6 feet Monday above dry ground. Also, moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion are likely at times of high tide through early Tuesday.

POWER OUTAGES: Isolated to scattered power outages are likely. Heavy rain and saturated ground will increase the potential for downed trees, especially on Monday.

IN THE EXTENDED RANGE: Conditions will gradually improve through the day Tuesday. For the rest of the week we will see a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures into the low 80s. We stay mostly dry, so the weather will co-operate during the clean-up process from Irma.

In addition to Irma, there is Hurricane Jose in the Atlantic and another area of showers/storms that has a medium chance of tropical development in the next 5 days. It is peak hurricane season in the Atlantic.

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