Hurricane Irma is currently smashing its way through the Caribbean, leaving serious damage in its wake. Below are travel advisories for affected areas, the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center and some of videos and links to media coverage.

If you are in the affected areas or in the path of the storm, you are in our thoughts and we hope you stay safe.

Jonathan Bancroft from Traveller Assist wrote about hurricane safety considerations for travellers earlier this week.

Travel advisories for affected areas 


National Hurricane Center

From the National Hurricane Center Public Advisory issued at 11:00AST Thursday 7th September –

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Florida peninsula from Jupiter Inlet southward and around the peninsula to Bonita Beach, including the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.

The government of Cuba has extended the Tropical Storm Warning to Villa Clara province.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…

  • Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach * Florida Keys

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

  • Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti
  • Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas
  • Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Central Bahamas
  • Northwestern Bahamas

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…

  • Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach
  • Florida Keys 
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Florida Bay
  • Cuba from Matanzas province eastward to Guantanamo province

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

  • Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engano westward to the southern border with Haiti
  • Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince
  • Cuba provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas, Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.  Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.  A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

Interests elsewhere in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as Cuba and Florida should monitor the progress of Irma.

For storm information specific to your area in the United States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. For storm information specific to your area outside the United States, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the distinct eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 20.4 North, longitude 69.7 West. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue with some decrease in forward speed for the next couple of days.  On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move just north of the coast of Hispaniola today, be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by this evening, and then be near the central Bahamas by Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts.  Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).

The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force plane was 921 mb (27.20 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water is expected to reach the following HEIGHTS ABOVE GROUND if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach, including Florida Keys…5 to 10 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.  Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.  For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS by the following amounts within the hurricane warning area near and to the north of the center of Irma.  Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

  • Turks and Caicos Islands…15 to 20 ft
  • Southeastern and central Bahamas…15 to 20 ft
  • Northwestern Bahamas…5 to 10 ft
  • Northern coast of the Dominican Republic…3 to 5 ft
  • Northern coast of Haiti and the Gulf of Gonave…1 to 3 ft
  • Northern coast of Cuba in the warning area…5 to 10 ft

Water levels around Puerto Rico should subside today.

WIND:  Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the hurricane warning area in the Dominican Republic and Haiti today. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin in the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands later today with tropical storm conditions expected within the next several hours.  These conditions will spread into the central Bahamas by tonight or early Friday.

Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area in Cuba by Friday.  Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin within the warning area in Cuba tonight. Hurricane conditions are expected in the northwestern Bahamas Friday night and Saturday.

RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain accumulations through Saturday evening:

  • Northeast Puerto Rico and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands… additional 2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches
  • Much of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos…8 to 12 inches, isolated 20 inches
  • Andros Island and Bimini, Bahamas…12 to 16 inches, isolated 25 inches
  • Northern Dominican Republic and northern Haiti…4 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches
  • Southern Dominican Republic and southern Haiti…2 to 5 inches
  • Eastern and central Cuba…4 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches
  • Southeast Florida and the upper Florida Keys…8 to 12 inches, isolated 20 inches
  • Lower Florida Keys…2 to 5 inches

In all areas this rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

 SURF:  Swells generated by Irma are affecting the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, and should start affecting portions of the southeast coast of the United States later today and tonight.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather office.

NEXT ADVISORY

Next intermediate advisory at 200 PM AST.

Next complete advisory at 500 PM AST.

Please click here to read more.


Media coverage

Caribbean

Florida


Hurricanes Katia and Jose

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