The Latest on Hurricane Irma

wind speed probabilities

Well folks, we’ve got a pretty large hurricane churning in the waters to the east of us. As of 5 a.m. this morning, it looks like Hurricane Irma – currently a strong category 2 storm – will go to the north of us, but that does not mean we will not get heavy rains, winds and possible storm surge here. It simply means that the eye wall – which measured 12 miles wide yesterday – will pass to the north of us. The forecast can also change, so we all really need to keep an eye on this. Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center.

Irma appears to have weakened a little during the last several hours. The eye has become cloud filled once again, and the convective pattern is not as impressive as it was yesterday. A blend of the latest Dvorak classifications from TAFB/SAB and ADT values from CIMSS at the University of Wisconsin support lowering the initial wind speed a little to 95 kt. It is interesting to note that a ship (BATFR17) passed within 50 n mi to the west of the center of Irma and has only reported winds of about 40 kt, indicating that the core of Irma is compact.

The observed fluctuations in strength during the past day or so are likely to continue for about another day while Irma remains over marginally warm waters and in fairly close proximity to dry air. Eyewall replacement cycles, like the one observed yesterday, could occur, but forecasting the timing and duration of these are not possible. After 24 hours, Irma is expected to move over
progressively warmer waters and into a more moist environment. These more favorable conditions combined with low to moderate wind shear should allow the hurricane to strengthen. The NHC intensity forecast follows the consensus aids HCCA and IVCN, and it is fairly similar to the previous advisory.

Irma is now moving due west at 12 kt. A subtropical high pressure system to the north of the hurricane is expected to strengthen and build westward during the next couple of days. This pattern should cause Irma to move west-southwestward during that time. Thereafter, a turn back to the west and then west-northwest is predicted in the 3-5 day time period when Irma moves on the south and southwest sides of the high. Although the models agree on the overall scenario, there remains about 200 n mi north-south spread among the best-performing models on day 5. The NHC track forecast has been adjusted to the south at the longer-range points, and it is about halfway between the latest runs of the GFS and ECMWF models.


1. Irma is expected to be a major hurricane when it moves closer to the Lesser Antilles early next week, producing rough surf and rip currents. Irma could also cause dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts on some islands, although it is too soon to specify where and when those hazards could occur. Residents in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Irma through the weekend and listen to any advice given by local officials.

2. It is much too early to determine what direct impacts Irma will have on the continental United States. Regardless, everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place, as we are now near the peak of the season.

And here is the National Hurricane Center’s map of estimated impact times:

The 5 a.m. model on Saturday
The 5 a.m. model on Saturday

And here is an image we captured using our Living Earth iPhone app just a bit ago. It shows how large the storm is. St. John is the blue dot to the left of the storm.

Image captured Saturday morning
Image captured Saturday morning

Here is a checklist to prepare for a storm:

hurricane checklist

And here is how to prepare your animals for a storm:
pets 1

pets 2

On a positive note, my father had an Aunt Irma and she was a very nice lady. Hopefully this Irma is nice to us too.

34 thoughts on “The Latest on Hurricane Irma”

    • Our son manages the ACC. He called last night. minimal water damage in the apartment but the winds were an issue. Blew the windows out of the work truck and sent his washer/dryer into the wind. They keep them on a covered side porch, bolted to the concrete. Bolts popped and the machines went into the surrounding woods. He had not made it to the shelter yet to see about the animals and he is concerned. Biggest issue now is power. Island is without power and the way things move down there it could take a long while to repair.

      • Any updates on the shelter animals and buildings? Other island animals, donkeys or just the overall situation on the island? I understand they are without power. Sorry to hear about Ryan’s property, but glad to hear he is safe. Can’t imagine the work he has ahead of him dealing with the aftermath.

        • Haven’t heard anything in over 24hrs. Got a pix outside of Mongoose Junction which is a mess. I hear the picture came from Kenny Chesney – doubt he is on the island though 🙂 I’m frustrated that all the “help” news is about islands other than USVI!

    • I know wish we could find out how there doing down there. We go down every year have for the past ten. I love that island I am so worried how they are. It’s my favorite place on earth pray it’s still there .

  1. Can somebody please update us on what’s happening in St Johns/Coral Bay? There is no news anywhere to be found! Please.

    • My sister is in Coral Bay, I heard they were hit the hardest. there is a list of names to find out their status,
      I am trying my best to find it.

      • Please my brother and I are in Pennsylvania and need to know where our parents are. Last known location 7917 Emmaus St.John, USVI 00830. Last contact 9/6/17 9:30am. Last name Sardella

        • We have great friends who live off 9901 Emmaus on St John east end. We are very concerned for them. Their last name is Melnik. Were you able to find your parents. I am pretty sure they are friends with Bob and Betsy Melnik. Just curious if everyone is ok? Have not been able to reach them. Please let us know and we hope your family is ok as well.

  2. My sister Gayle Gosselin is in Coral Bay St. John in Mill Vista with Jeff Croaken(sp) I can’st find the list of people to find out if she is ok? does anyone know how to access the list?

  3. Completely heartbroken St.John has been so devastated, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, my heart goes out to everyone in the beautiful carribean, as it has hosted many of us throughout the years, may we all come together as a nation and help restore these beautiful places and pay it forward for all the wonderful memories they have given us. God bless …….

  4. My son rode out Irma on St john usvi with owners of morgans mango.
    He left a message saying he is fine & be home soon.(Arizona)
    I have to assume maria & carlos are also ok. That’s all I know.

    • Hey, my friend Cheyne lives on Saint John and worked at Morgan’s Mangos and is also from Arizona is that who you’re speaking of? I’m very worried, I’d like to know he’s okay.

      • Yes that is cheyne shaw. last time I received message was Friday. He called & left message saying hes ok. I hear that royal Caribbean is sending empty majesty of seas ship to pick up evacuees from st Thomas & st john. They will bring to airport in Puerto rico. I have no idea how long that will take. My email is [email protected]. I will let cheyne know ur asking about him Thank you

          • Hi Harry, The last I spoke to Cheyne he said he would b home. On sept 7& 8 he called & said he was OK. That is the last I have heard from him. He could b alive or dead I have no idea! He doesn’t care enough about any1 on mainland to get word to us. I took a week in EXCRUCIATING pain to make room for his return. I am as usual a FOOL. Hop u r well

  5. My amazing friend Kate and her son Jro just moved there, about a week before Irma. Haven’t heard from or of them since the storm. Very worried. Please, if you know of them, let me know they are safe

  6. Please if anybody has any info of ny brother Jonathan and his two boys Justin and Julian in St John after Irma please can you post .. much appreciated

  7. Any news of where to find list of Coral Bay residents that are safe? Looking for Buck Pedrick OR Bond Pedrick (He goes by Buck, and his wife (recently deceased) Sally, have lived on the island for a very long time!
    16317 Estate Carolina
    Coral Bay, ST John, USVI
    Road is off of corner near Love Market
    Buck’s phone number: 340-643-6320
    Tell him we love him and we are all thinking of him. Our email is [email protected]

  8. If anyone knows John and Dean Baldwin’s situation post Irma please post a message here. Their home, their 2 shops, their sailboat?? But most importantly themselves.

    Thank you.

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