Hurricane Irma has already killed ten people and ruined the lives of countless others in the Caribbean, and that’s left Florida wondering when Irma will arrive, and what damage it will do. Even Puerto Rico’s near-miss still means heavy flooding, mudslides, power outages that may last for months, and much more. But when will Irma make landfall, and how dangerous will it be?
Currently, meterologists are predicting Irma will make landfall sometime between 8pm Saturday and 8am Sunday. Much depends on the hurricane’s track, which remains uncertain. NOAA believes Irma will hit Florida directly and move across the length of the state, slowly losing steam to become a major storm somewhere in the Atlanta area, while the “spaghetti” model, which forecasts as many likely tracks as possible, offer what may be the worst case scenario: Irma hits Miami directly, but stays over water, keeping power as it works its way up the Eastern Seaboard.
To be safe, Floridians should try and be on high ground and away from the coasts, at the very least, by Saturday morning, if possible, and comply with any evacuation orders. Staying in Florida in general may not be particularly advisable. Puerto Rico’s “lucky miss” indicates it’s likely the entire state will be affected in some form, and meteorologists believe Irma will have winds well over 100mph by the time it hits Florida. Be sure you’re fully prepared and know which areas in your home are safe. The good news is that it appears that by Tuesday of next week, the storm itself will have passed. It’ll just be a question of how much damage it does along the way.