Major Hurricane Irma continues to track westward over the northern Caribbean Islands with sustained winds of 185 MPH.
Barbuda sustained a direct hit from Irma overnight; reporting wind gusts far greater than 100 MPH before the weather sensor failed.
Irma will continue to move west-northwestward over the next few days. Inclement weather will begin to impact the Turks and Caicos midday Thursday. Dangerous winds will spread northwestward into the Bahamas and Cuba on Friday.
As of this forecast, inclement weather may begin as early as Saturday evening across the Florida Keys and southern Florida mainland.
The forecast becomes very uncertain as Major Hurricane Irma approaches the Bahamas. Overnight data is shifted eastward, indicating a sharp northward turn before making landfall along the southern Florida coast. This would keep the worst conditions just east of the Miami Metro.
However, this shift would also increase the risk of severe impacts along the southeastern coast.
*This overnight shift is not yet a trend*
There is still lots of uncertainty regarding Irma's long-term track. Significant impacts are still possible Monday into early Tuesday. The level of impact and expanse of impacts have yet to be determined.
We may begin to get a firmer grasp of the forecast later Wednesday into Thursday, and a much better idea by Saturday.
Ensure that your hurricane plan is ready to be activated and purchase initial hurricane supplies, in case Irma significantly impacts the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.
Here's THE LATEST (as of 11 a.m. Wed. 9/6) from the WTOC First Alert Weather Team:
Please stay alert to the latest information from the First Alert Forecast Team, NOAA and local officials.
Track the latest online at our Hurricane Center or on our First Alert Weather App.
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