At 500 AM, the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 52.3 West. Irma is moving toward the west-southwest near 14 mph (22 km/h). A turn toward the west is expected later today, followed by a west-northwestward turn late Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move closer to the Leeward Islands through Tuesday and then be near the northern Leeward Islands Tuesday night.
Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is forecast through Tuesday night.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).
The estimated minimum central pressure is 961 mb.
As a result hurricane watches are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.
A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
Interests in the remainder of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of Irma. Additional Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches may be required for portions of this area on Monday.
Irma will pass very close or over the northern Leeward Islands on Wednesday. The first squalls and tropical storm force winds are expected to reach the islands late on Tuesday. It could move near or over the British Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon or evening. The track has also been shifted closer to Puerto Rico.
Irma is a dangerous category 3 hurricane. Strengthening is likely as it tracks generally westward. By Wednesday, it is expected to make its closest approach to the Leeward and British Virgin Islands as a powerful category 4 hurricane.
Based on the current forecast track, the eye of Hurricane Irma is expected to pass approximately 37 miles north east of the British Virgin Islands.
Please continue to monitor local media stations, DDM’s website (bviddm.com) and Facebook at BVIDDM for regular updates and preparedness tips.
Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result in the loss of finances, property or life.
This article has been republished from www.bviddm.com