Tracking Hurricane Irma and answering your questions
First... we need to to talk about this.
Bogus weather articles about Hurricane Irma are filling up Facebook, and I don't want you to get overhyped/wrong information.
Various sites are posting claims like "cities could be wiped away" and "stronger than Hurricane Harvey." Worst case scenarios and exaggerated/wrong "facts" are used as scare tactics. You might be reading an article posted on Facebook written by a high school student-- certainly not a certified meteorologist! The National Hurricane Center doesn't even provide forecasts beyond five days because they aren't accurate.
The bigger problem comes when people react and make/change plans due to claims in these bogus stories.
Here are the facts:
Right now, we're carefully watching Hurricane Irma as the storm slowly churns its way westward across the Atlantic Ocean.
The hurricane has sustained wind over 100 mph and has been fluctuating between a category two and category three storm. Flucuations with a trend of slowly strengthening should occur.
Irma will first move through the Caribbean or north of the Caribbean Islands from Tuesday through Friday (September 5th to 8th).
The hurricane will begin turning northwest during the middle of the week, and this northward turn is the major forecast question.
The SOONER the hurricane turns northwest, the LESS LIKELY it will hit the East Coast.
The LATER the hurricane turns northwest, the MORE LIKELY the storm will impact the coast.
If Virginia is impacted by the storm, the dates would be September 10th, 11th or 12th.
We won't be overly certain on Irma's trajectory until the middle of next week (Wednesday.)
Until then, I will be monitoring 4 sets of forecast data per day to see how the hurricane is tracking compared to computer forecasts. By analyzing these trends, you'll get a more accurate forecast.
At this point, no one knows if Hurricane Irma will affect the United States.
Stay tuned! George