Tropics extremely busy with not only Irma, but also Jose and Katia

TS Jose

TS Jose (click for full size image)

Updated: 6:15 AM ET Sept 6

Irma is moving through portions of the NE Caribbean today with landfalls taking place in Barbuda, Anguilla, St Martin/St Maarten and St Bart. We will have to wait and see how bad the damage was in these locations but it is safe to say that likely category five conditions were experienced in some areas of these islands. We shall be hoping for the best but be prepared for some bad news coming out of this region.

There are some track changes happening with Irma and I go over this in my morning video discussion posted below. I will have 4 videos posted today, centered around each advisory package from the NHC (5am, 11am, 5pm and 110m ET).

TS Katia

TS Katia (click for full size image)

It is also important to note that we now have two other tropical storms to track: Jose and Katia. Both are expected to become hurricanes but as for Katia and any concerns for flood-weary Texas, don’t even give it a second thought – Katia will be an issue for Mexico with the potential for hurricane conditions and very heavy rainfall there. Check the track maps that I have posted here for each storm.

As for Jose, we will need to monitor its progress very closely in the coming days as it may try to follow on the heels of Irma but it is too soon to know where it will ultimately end up. Needless to say, the next week to 10 days will be very busy in the Atlantic Basin.

Again, I have posted a video discussion mainly focused on Irma and the NE Caribbean Sea but the emphasis is beginning to shift farther downstream towards the SE Bahamas and eventually Florida and the Southeast U.S.

M. Sudduth



Irma now only hours from making landfall across portions of the islands of the NE Caribbean Sea

Updated: 11:15 PM ET Sept 5

The news concerning Irma remains grim. The winds remain at extreme levels with a pressure of 916 mb.

Overall, the structure of the hurricane is very impressive but this means it is also very lethal and must be respected and prepared for. It is only a matter of hours now before the worst of conditions begin to spread across the islands of the NE Caribbean Sea – possibly bringing unprecedented devastation from wind and storm surge.

I have put together another thorough analysis of the current situation with the main focus remaining on the Caribbean tonight and tomorrow. There are still many unanswered questions in terms of where Irma ends up beyond days 3 and 4.  Areas from the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida and indeed all of the Southeast coast of the U.S. should be monitoring Irma very closely with readiness on the forefront of everyones’ minds. It’s likely going to be bad where ever it ends up.

Here is the latest video discussion – I will have another one posted near 6am ET Weds.

M. Sudduth



Category five Irma to move through portions of the NE Caribbean Islands tonight/tomorrow

Updated: 5:25 PM ET Sept 5

It is crunch time for the islands of the NE Caribbean. Irma is closing in with winds of 185 mph and a forward motion of about 15 mph. This will put the extremely dangerous core near or over several of the islands of the Caribbean Sea (northern Leewards) later tonight and through tomorrow. It is impossible to know precisely which islands will be impacted directly – it is best to assume you will be and to do all it takes to protect yourself and your family from this destructive event.

I know there is a lot of interest in what happens next for Florida and the Bahamas, etc. We will get to that in due time – tonight it is all about the people of the NE Caribbean Sea. In some cases, lives will depend on what happens over the course of the next 30 hours.

Here is my latest video discussion – probably the most stern and strongly worded one I have ever put out:

I will have another video post between 11pm and Midnight ET tonight.

M. Sudduth



Northern Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico first up for Irma impacts

Updated: 1:15 AM ET September 4

It is late – after 1am ET on September 4 now – Labor Day 2017. We are watching a powerful hurricane as it gathers strength over the ever-increasing water temps of the tropical Atlantic. It is the talk of the town for just about anyone who lives on or near the coast in the western Atlantic Basin. Indeed, Irma is coming…and first up will be the northern Leeward Islands and possibly Puerto Rico.

I do not have a lot to add in terms of where Irma ends up when all is said and done, that chapter of the story has yet to be written and won’t be for several days to come. It does, however, seem that Irma is moving more west in the model forecasts and thus the chance of it moving out to sea seems to be diminishing.

I will have a full video discussion again Monday morning and will use that to go over the details of the overnight model runs – for now, I want to focus on the northern Leewards.

Map of the NE Caribbean Sea and the northern Lesser Antilles along with Puerto Rico.

Map of the NE Caribbean Sea and the northern Lesser Antilles along with Puerto Rico.

Take a look at the map I have posted here. Those are the islands that will see the first effects of Irma in the coming days. How much of an impact Irma has in that region remains to be seen and will depend entirely on how close the core gets and how strong the hurricane is as it passes by. We will also need to watch the various reports of what the wind field is like. As Irma strengthens, it is likely to expand in size, bringing a larger area of tropical storm force winds along with hurricane force winds. This is impossible to predict in terms of absolute size but let me tell you, it is likely now that portions of the northern Leeward Islands will see hurricane conditions and maybe even the dreaded core itself.

The latest run of the GFS (Global Forecast System) shows Irma getting very close to portions of the extreme northeast corner of the Leeward Islands. If we look at the latest wind field info from the 11pm ET advisory package from the NHC, it shows:

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles
(220 km).

This means that some of, if not all, the islands seen in the map will experience at least tropical storm conditions – winds of 39 mph or higher. Obviously, the closer Irma’s core passes to these islands, the stronger those winds will be.

GFS model run from Sunday night, 00z, showing Irma in about 60 hours or roughly 8am ET on Weds - very close to portions of the northern Leeward Islands.

GFS model run from Sunday night, 00z, showing Irma in about 60 hours or roughly 8am ET on Weds – very close to portions of the northern Leeward Islands.

Another thing to keep in mind, especially if debating whether or not to prepare for the hurricane is the fact that the core could undergo rapid changes up or down with no notice at all. It’s best to err on the side of extreme caution if you are in the area – an intensifying phase could easily bring a category higher of wind and gusts to the area – you do not want to roll the dice on that one and hope it doesn’t happen.

So for now, my best advice is simple: if you’re in the hurricane watch area – you need to assume that hurricane conditions are coming. Forget whether or not the eye will pass over you. It’s what’s around the eye – the core – that brings the horror of punishing down burst winds and extreme gusts. Ask those who live in Rockport, Texas about that. Tomorrow and Tuesday are your only days to prepare. Get it done, don’t second guess or use hope as a substitute for accomplishing the tasks needed to save your butt and your property. Irma is bad and will get worse. Be ready and follow the instructions of the local governments etc.

As for what happens next – well, let’s just say Irma is going to be remembered for a long time to come it does appear. I will go over the latest in a complete video discussion by Noon ET Monday.

M. Sudduth