On Wednesday, August 30, the 10:00 am update from the National Hurricane Center stated that Tropical Storm Irma had formed in the Atlantic. The storm was about 2,500 miles from the US. Nearly two weeks later, the storm’s clouds are finally here in Crossville.
Over the past 12 days we have watched as the storm exploded into a powerful cat 5 and became the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin. Then we watched it as it broke the record for remaining a cat 5 longer than any other storm on earth has, including all the typhoons in the Pacific. Finally, we watched as it strengthened into a cat 5 again Friday night and worried that the US would take a direct hit from a cat 5, which we’ve only experienced three times in our nation’s history.
And then we watched it weaken. Who would have thought we’d be relieved to get hit by a cat 4? We have dodged one heck of a bullet on this one, folks. Don’t get me wrong, the situation is bad in Florida. But we could have been waking up this morning to scenes of catastrophic and unprecedented damage like we had never seen before all up and down the peninsula.
Now, it’s our turn to get in on Irma. Expect wind and rain to begin arriving this afternoon. A wind advisory goes into effect at 4:00 pm and expires at 7:00 am Tuesday. Sustained winds of 15-35 mph are possible, with gusts to 50 mph. Rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches are also possible, with areas just south of Cumberland County with isolated 3″ amounts. We could be looking at some sporadic power outages, too, so keep that in mind tonight. Basically, it’s going to be a very windy, rainy night on the plateau.
Look for mostly cloudy skies to continue through Thursday, with off and on rain showers. Friday looks partly cloudy and, right now, the weekend looks really pretty. We should be in for a warm-up next week, with highs possibly getting into the 80s again.
Wind history for Hurricane Irma