Well, well, well … where do we begin. Hurricane Irma is a beast. She wiggled in the Atlantic for days from Cat 1 to Cat 2 then 3, then 4 and now even 5 with sustained winds of 180 mph at times! Yet, we don’t really know what she is going to do, and surprise, surprise she’s now got her little brother Jose in tow.
There have been many historical storms that have given us the brush in North Florida over the years with a dance partner, anyone remember Hugo and Iris?!? Hey wait … Tropical Depression #13 forming off Mexico?! Things are in the oven and baking at full force. But, this might be Mathew 2.0! This is a monster of a storm, a solid Cat 5, is there such a thing as a Cat 6? History tells us that there have been many mega storms recorded before the official naming system was implemented, and many of these storms have shaken up history.
One thing that’s different now, as was told last year in our learning curve with Mathew, is communication is as good as it gets nowadays. With all the media outlets and social media, it can get a bit outta hand, but it also gives us the ability to communicate with friends and loved ones throughout the regions to stay abreast of the situation, provisions, evacuation routes, etc, etc …
So here’s skinny. Irma is about to plow through the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, graze Hispaniola (Storm Killer), and head across Cuba, with the cone as of now curving just through the Straights of Florida ( The Keys) and then the question marks arise?!? Will she become Mathew 3.5 and buzz up the coast, or swing into the Gulf? Will she take a 1960s Donna path and roll around into Southwest Florida and through the state?
The reality is that it’s still too early to tell. But, as we now know, the shelves have been clearing at the stores, and plans and provisions need to be in place as we still have time! Know your evac routes, contact friends and family abroad, and at least have a plan. A lot will change over the next couple of days, and we will know much more by Thursday, but with maybe 5 million people migrating north to evac South Florida, you can expect the highways will be jammed for days, so plan accordingly.
This is no fire drill here anymore, we know what to do. Not to put the fear of god in everyone, but being prepared is peace of mind. We could wake up in a couple of days and the forecast will and hopefully turns in our favor, but breathing easy will be a nice relief. As for the surf, right now the swell models are looking like a double-barreled swell, some waist- to chest-plus surf building this week with favorable winds, then the potential for a mega-nor’easter swell in the wake of Irma in the double-overhead range by next Monday with 50+ mph winds … not a time to be a hero for the 50-year storm here. After the storm, it backs off to some nicer conditions, but then again, this will change! Batten down the hatches folks, and get the hurricane kits prepped! We’ll be back online for updates soon!
WIND: SW winds 5-10 all day
SWELL: E to ESE
WIND: NW winds 5-10+ all day
WIND: NE winds 15-20 all day
WIND: NE winds 20-25 all day
WIND: NE winds 20-30 all day
SWELL: ENE to E
WIND: NE winds 50-60+ all day
WIND: SW winds 10-20+ all day