It might be a few degrees cooler than average, but Sunday looks like an excellent fall day in the Hudson Valley.
Mostly sunny skies and a light north wind at 5 to 10mph, could gust to 15mph here and there. But with low humidity, afternoon highs near or just above 70° should make for a great day of outdoor activities. It’s not summer weather, but still nothing to complain about. The weather to complain about is certainly in southern Florida, as the strongest storm is a long time takes aim.
Hurricane Irma Makes Landfall on Sunday
Sometime just before sunrise on Sunday, Hurricane Irma should make landfall around Key West.
This is the most dangerous point for Floridians. The reason, is because Irma has ‘weakened’ to a category 3 major hurricane. After days of Irma being a category 4 or 5 hurricane, its interaction with Cuba has disrupted the structure just a bit. That, combined with the westerly forecasted track… will cause some people to think “it’s not going to be that bad.”
However, we expect Irma to really supercharge overnight. The sea surface temperatures are very warm, even compared to the warm water that has fueled the system so far…
These warm waters, combined with relatively low wind shear, should allow Hurricane Irma to intensify to a category 4 storm once again overnight, possibly even a category 5 storm by sunrise on Sunday.
By Sunday morning, don’t be surprised if Hurricane Irma has sustained winds of 140mph or 145mph… and it could continue to strengthen into the afternoon on Sunday. It looks likely to make landfall in the Florida Keys near sunrise, likely just before sunrise on Sunday. Then it should make second landfall between Naples and Sarasota, sometime during the early afternoon…
You can clearly see, that the entire state gets slammed by hurricane force wind gusts, despite the fact that the worst conditions will be felt along the west coast. The entire state could see 4 to 10 inches of rainfall, with the SW portion of the state seeing potentially over 12 inches.
Then of course, there is potentially the most deadly feature of Hurricane Irma… the storm surge…
Much of the west coast of Florida… from just west of Homestead, all the way north to Port Charlotte, could experience storm surge of 10 to 15 feet!! That is a catastrophic storm surge, that will cause billions of dollars of damage, and could lead to loss of life. Storm surge waters can rise many feet in just a couple of minutes, as the winds off the ocean just pile up water into the shoreline.
Over the last several days, the weather community has warned that Hurricane Irma will be a catastrophic storm. The track has shifted to focus on the western coast in the past 2 days, which will spare areas like Miami and West Palm Beach the worst conditions. Those areas will still be impacted, but when residents return… they might find themselves lucky, and thankful that their homes and property have only minor damage. There is a chance that some people will be irritated that they were forced to evacuate, and the storm was ‘no big deal’.
But as we all watch on Sunday, and see the power and damage that come with Hurricane Irma… our thoughts and prayers will be with the residents of western and southern Florida. Hopefully everyone has gotten out of harms way, and prepared the best that they could.