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Hurricane Irma moves into the Caribbean

First of all, there’s really not much to talk about with our weather. Once these pesky clouds move out, we’ll see partly cloudy skies today and highs in the mid 60s. The same will be true tomorrow. Overnight lows will fall into the mid 40s. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday looks amazing, with highs near 70 and lows near 50.  I’d make plans to get out and enjoy the weather this weekend. It’s going to be too nice to be inside!

It’s hard to believe that on this date in 1925 we broke our all-time record high at the Crossville Experiment Station when we hit 103! It’s going to be about 40 degrees cooler than that today. Wow…

Speaking of heating up, the tropics are absolutely on fire right now. We woke up this morning to yet another tropical storm, Katia, which is located in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. At this time, we expect her to move into Mexico late Friday night with no impact to the US.  We also have Tropical Storm Jose, which is located about halfway between the US and Africa. Jose will become a hurricane today. At this time, we do not expect Jose to threaten the US, though our confidence is not 100% about that.

The big headline is, of course, Hurricane Irma. She remains a category 5 hurricane this morning, which is the highest category we have. Maximum sustained winds are still at 185 mph, with gusts over 200 mph. Keep in mind, an EF-5 tornado has 200 mph winds and lasts only a short time. The strongest tornado we’ve ever had in Cumberland County was EF-3, with winds of 160 mph. Consider how much damage that did in only minutes. Irma is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. We have seen hurricanes this powerful in the Gulf and Caribbean Sea (but not by much!), but not this far out into the Atlantic. Islands that were hit last night have been absolutely devastated, and we’re just now seeing the first images. The good news is that models are trending eastward with this storm and it may not make a landfall on Florida after all. However, it may brush up the east coast of Florida and threaten a landfall at South Caroline. Stay tuned.


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