Afternoon update on storms and tropics

We have some very strong storms about to move into town. Wind gusts to 45 mph and marble sized hail are possible. I’m also noticing a lot of cloud to ground lightning, so get ready to hear a lot of rumbles outside. As of now, nothing is severe. The sky certainly looks threatening, though and is ready to absolutely drench us with more rain.

Also, weather history has been made this afternoon. Hurricane Irma is now the most powerful hurricane ever observed east of the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 185 mph with gust to 215 mph. We also now have Tropical Storm Jose to the east of Irma, though Irma should steer that storm more out to sea (hopefully). Mandatory evacuations are now being ordered for the Florida Keys. The storm should be affecting south Florida and the Keys by Saturday. We have only had three cat 5s in US history. Incidentally, one of those was 82 years ago this weekend in the Florida Keys.

We’re also watching a developing storm in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. It looks like that storm, if it develops, will head into Mexico, but nothing is certain just yet.

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