MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Hurricane Watch issued for Palm Beach County due to Hurricane Irma

The 5 p.m. update on Hurricane Irma shows the storm is a category 5 with 175 mph winds. (WPEC)

Update:

As of the 8 pm advisory, Hurricane Irma continues to be a Category 5 storm with 175mph.



Original:

Evacuation orders are now up for portions of Palm Beach County which is under a hurricane watch.

Hurricane Irma weakened slightly, but it remains an extremely dangerous category 5 storm with 175 mph winds.

The 5 p.m. advisory shows it is shifting slightly to the west, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The slight shift puts the strongest winds over Lake Okeechobee, and almost all of Florida in the cone.

Evacuation orders just came down for more than a quarter-million people in Palm Beach County.

Emergency leaders issued a mandatory evacuation order for people in Zone A and Zone B, effective Friday at 10 a.m.

A voluntary evacuation order is in place for people who live in Zone C.

The town of Palm Beach issued an evacuation order for the entire island, according to Mayor Gail Coniglio. Town leaders are asking people to get a 3-4 day kit of hurricane supplies and evacuate by Friday at 5 p.m.

Evacuation orders are also in place for parts of Martin County and Indian River County.

Gov. Scott spoke from West Palm Beach Thursday afternoon and told people to be prepared and evacuate if told to do so.

"This is a catastrophic storm that our state has never seen," said Scott. "Water is going to come in from the coast and it could cover your house."

The hurricane watch extends from Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach.

The area includes the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay.

Storm surge watches are in effect for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys. Those areas include from Jupiter Inlet south to Bonita Beach, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The eyewall of the extremely dangerous hurricane is moving between the north coast of Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands, according to the 2 p.m. advisory.

The storm is now packing 175 mph winds and only slight changes in strength are expected over the next day.

The forecast track from the National Hurricane Center brings Irma as a category 4 storm through western sections of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast on Sunday.

Forecasters warn this track may change and focus should NOT be on the track but rather the cone of track uncertainty.

Currently, all of Florida is in the cone.

Gov. Scott says people who feel the need to evacuate should do so now and not wait until the roads are clogged with fleeing cars.

The governor acknowledged the gas crunch and is devoting all state resources to get fuel to people.

Gas trucks will get police escorts to and from ports to speed up the delivery of critical fuel.

The governor says real-time road closures will appear on Google Maps.

"We've got to survive this storm, then get back," said Scott.

Gov. Scottactivated an additional 3,000 Florida National Guard members to help with the Hurricane Irma response.

"These men and women are putting themselves in harm’s way to save the lives of their fellow Floridians while many of their own families are evacuating. I am proud of their commitment to keeping our families safe," said Scott.

By Friday, all 7,000 members of the National Guard will be deployed.

SHARE YOUR PHOTOS

TRACKING THE TROPICS

Hurricane Jose powered up to a category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds and is expected to be a major hurricane by Friday.

Hurricane Katia is expected to move toward the coast of Mexico Thursday night or Friday morning with 80 mph winds.

Related Links:

LIVE COVERAGE: HURRICANE IRMA (Mobile viewers click here to watch)

Here is the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center

EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE IRMA VERY NEAR THE TURKS AND

CAICOS ISLANDS AND HEADING FOR THE BAHAMAS...

...HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED ALONG PORTIONS OF THE NORTH

COAST OF CUBA...

SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION

----------------------------------------------

LOCATION...20.9N 71.1W

ABOUT 40 MI...65 KM S OF GRAND TURK ISLAND

ABOUT 135 MI...220 KM E OF GREAT INAGUA ISLAND

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...175 MPH...280 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 16 MPH...26 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...922 MB...27.23 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

--------------------

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of Cuba has issued a Hurricane Warning for the Cuban

provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, and Villa

Clara. This includes the Cuban Keys along the north shore of these

provinces.

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

* Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus

and Villa Clara.

* 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

* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo,Holguin, Las Tunas and Matanzas.

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

* Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas.

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 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 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), the distinct eye of Hurricane Irma was

located near latitude 20.9 North, longitude 71.1 West. Irma is

moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this

general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days

with some decrease in forward speed. On the forecast track, the eye

of Irma should continue to move between Hispaniola and the Turks and

Caicos Islands this evening. The core of the hurricane will then

move between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas during the next

day or two.

Maximum sustained winds remain 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 70 miles (110 km) from

the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185

miles (295 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 922 mb (27.23 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

WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to continue within the

hurricane warning area in the Dominican Republic and Haiti tonight.

Hurricane conditions already affecting the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Tropical storm and hurricane conditions are beginning in the

southeastern Bahamas and will spread into the central Bahamas by

tonight or early Friday. Hurricane conditions are expected within

the hurricane warning area along the north coast of Cuba late

Friday and Saturday. Hurricane conditions are expected in the

northwestern Bahamas Friday night and Saturday.

Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area in Florida

by Sunday, with tropical storm conditions possible by late 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 1 to 2 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.

Trending