Regardless of landfall location, Irma will impact Coastal Empire - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Regardless of landfall location, Irma will impact Coastal Empire and Lowcountry

Tybee prepares for Hurricane Irma impacts. (WTOC) Tybee prepares for Hurricane Irma impacts. (WTOC)
Tybee Beach on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. (WTOC) Tybee Beach on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. (WTOC)

Category Four Major Hurricane Irma is tracking between Cuba and the Turks and Caicos Friday morning, moving west-northwest at 16 MPH.

Winds are sustained at 155 MPH; two miles-per-hour short of Category Five status.

While some weakening has occurred, this storm will be tracking over extremely warm ocean waters as it approaches Florida Saturday night. Irma may achieve Category Five status once again.

Major Hurricane Irma’s exact track remains uncertain. But, the 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center suggests a southern Florida landfall, followed by a northerly motion through much of the Florida Peninsula.

High tides will be running high well before significant weather impacts occur in our area.

This may impact travel on Highway 80 near Tybee Island as early as Friday evening.

Even a subtle shift eastward could bring a stronger hurricane to the Georgia coast Monday.

As of this forecast, the most adverse weather conditions are expected to occur across Georgia and South Carolina Sunday night through Monday evening, peaking Monday afternoon and evening.

If Irma tracks through Florida, widespread tropical storm force winds and localized hurricane force conditions are expected across the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. Widespread power outages will be possible, especially south of Interstate 16.

Rainfall may amount to as much as 12”-14”. Widespread accumulations of 8” to 12” are forecast between midday Sunday and Monday night.

Isolated tornadoes will be embedded within rain bands that rotate through our region late Sunday and Monday.

Stay with WTOC through the complicated forecast. We will keep you updated on TV, in the WTOC Weather App and at the WTOC Hurricane Center.

The next video app update will be sent to your WTOC Weather App at 8 a.m. Download it for free here:

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