South Florida faces the “impact” of hurricane category 5 Irma, the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic, although it is still early to predict where the eye will go, a meteorologist told Efe on Friday. of the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
“We will be impacted by Hurricane Irma over the weekend with hurricane winds that will start to feel like Saturday and the worst will hit Sunday,” warned Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and communications director at the NHC.
Feltgen warned error of caring other aspects than the range on the projection cone showing the NHC in each of the newsletters issued regularly.
“Do not focus on anything other than the projection cone, and South Florida falls in. It’s a very large hurricane that will impact broad areas and be a problem” for residents in the south of the peninsula, he said. the expert.
Feltgen confirmed that Irma, which lashes from this morning the Lesser Antilles with maximum winds of 185 miles per hour (295 km / h), is the most intense hurricane formed in Atlantic waters.
Other hurricanes such as Wilma (2005), Gilbert (1988), and the one that struck the Florida Keys in 1935 (unnamed) also reached 185 miles per hour, but they did so in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico, warm than the open waters of the Atlantic, which strengthens cyclones.
The “extremely dangerous” Irma today unleashed her fury over the Lesser Antilles by hitting the Caribbean islands of San Martin, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda and will move in the next few hours over parts of the northern Virgin Islands.
According to NHC projections, the eye of the system will pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this evening or night and near or on the north coast of the Dominican Republic on Thursday, then head towards Turks and Caicos and southeast of the Bahamas, follow its route towards the north of Cuba and siege on Florida the weekend.
It is extremely worrisome that Irma may cause her to pass through Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), especially in the second, with hundreds of families still in camps as a result of Hurricane Matthew and about 40,000 people still displaced by the powerful earthquake that destroyed part of Haiti in 2010 and that left about 300,000 dead.
In Puerto Rico, the Department of Housing has enabled five hundred shelters, before the passage today of Irma, who “will soon” on the Virgin Islands.
The NHC said in its bulletin at 15.00 GMT today that Irma is 65 miles (110 km) east of St. Thomas and 140 miles (225 km) east of San Juan (Puerto Rico).
It continues to drag top sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (295 km / h), with stronger gusts, and moves west-northwest with a speed of 16 miles per hour (26 km / h).
Irma passed Thursday morning in Atlantic waters directly from tropical storm to hurricane category 2 and quickly became a major cyclone, climbing to category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale, and quickly reached intensity four and five, the maxim.
One of the factors that accelerated the rapid increase in the intensity of Irma’s winds was the role of marine waters as fuel, with surface temperatures 1.8 degrees hotter than normal on these summer dates, according to Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at Weather Undergroun, a private institution.
For his part, Feltgen urged the people of South Florida to “pay no attention to what is said in social networks” and take advantage of these “three days until Friday to have an activated plan” to cope with the clash of Irma .
He insisted on repeating the warning that Florida residents are being given the opportunity to “stockpile supplies and have everything ready now, before the stores run out of stock.”