The speculation over whether Hurricane Irma might take an alternate track and steer clear of the Florida peninsula is over as virtually all projections show a direct hit on the state within 48 hours.
With a week of warnings gone, major cities like Miami have become ghost towns as residents have evacuated.
The National Hurricane Center is calling the city of Miami in the ‘worst possible position’ in which winds in excess of 150 mph are expected to hit the coast.
One can look at the devastation in islands already hit to get an idea of what a post-Irma Miami might look like over the next week.
What could be worse is that the track may move along the eastern seaboard of Florida maintaining the warm water energy, thus slingshotting it up the eastern coast through Georgia, South Carolina and beyond.
Here’s more from Daily Mail…
Miami is now in the ‘worst possible position’ as Hurricane Irma heads for the U.S. mainland.
With the storm barreling toward the southern tip of Florida for perhaps a catastrophic blow this weekend, the U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast reported that the most likely path of the eye of the storm had shifted and that it could hit Florida earlier than expected.
The center said it had become likely that Irma will make landfall late Saturday in southern Florida as a dangerous major hurricane and bring ‘life-threatening storm surge and wind impacts’ to much of the state.
‘It looks like it’s shifting, even though it may be just 20 miles, it puts Miami right in the worst possible position,’ CNN meteorologist Tom Sater said.
‘Because when you look at the formidable storm, the strongest winds, the strongest storm surge, the bands of heavy rain are always in that north, northeastern quadrant.’
Just before 5am ET Friday, the hurricane was centered about 55 miles northwest of Great Inagua Island and 495 miles southeast of Miami.
Irma weakened from a Category 5 storm to Category 4 on Friday morning with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph, but it remained a powerful hurricane and it could intensify again as it enters warmer than normal waters around Florida. Irma’s core is expected to hit Florida early Sunday morning, but its tropical force storm winds can arrive as early as Saturday morning.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued hurricane warnings for South Florida and the Keys late Thursday night as Irma tracks toward the state. A storm surge has also been issued for the same area.