HURRICANE IRMA WATCH STATEMENTMonday 4th September 2017
Hurricane Irma Watch Statement for the Leeward Islands
Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services - 5:00 pm ECT Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 - A hurricane watch is now in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Anguilla. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions pose a possible threat to the specified area within 48 hours. Residents should start to implement their hurricane disaster plans.
At 5:00 pm ECT or 2100Z the centre of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 17.6 north, longitude 49.8 west or about 790 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
Irma is moving toward the west at 14 miles per hour and a westward to west-southwestward motion with some reduction in forward speed is expected through Monday 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 during the next 48 hours.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds winds extend up to 140 miles from the centre. The estimated minimum central pressure is 969 mb or 28.62 inches.
Based upon the latest observation and analysis, the center of the system is now projected to pass within 80 miles of the Leeward Islands, the system will begin to affect the islands late Tuesday evening and continuing through Wednesday with peak winds of 69 mph along with higher gusts across the Leeward Islands. Also, showers are expected to start to move across the islands on Tuesday. Rainfall totals of up to 5 inches are forecast to occur over a period of less than 24 hrs. With this type of rainfall, residents in low lying and flood proned areas should be prepared to move to higher grounds as flash flooding are possible. Residents near slopes should prepare to guard against mudslides.
Mariners should stay in port and seek safe anchorage. Seas will start to deteriorate on Tuesday and will peak near 20 feet on Wednesday as the storm draws near. All residents are urged to monitor the movement of Hurricane Irma closely and take action to protect life and property.
The next advisory will be at 11pm ECT.
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