First Alert: Hurricane Irma to push through South GA as a CAT 1 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

First Alert: Hurricane Irma to push through South GA as a CAT 1 hurricane

(Source: Giphy) (Source: Giphy)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Category Three Major Hurricane Irma is tracking along the northern coast of Cuba Saturday morning, moving west-northwest at 9 MPH.

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A Hurricane Watch has been issued for all coastal counties through Monday. 

[READ MORE: LIST: Areas with mandatory, voluntary evacuations issued]

A Hurricane Watch means hurricane wind conditions are possible somewhere within this area and within 48 hours. 

As of the 5 p.m. advisory, Hurricane Irma will push through South Georgia as a Cat 1 Hurricane. 

While some weakening will occur over the next several hours due to land interaction, this storm will be tracking over extremely warm ocean waters as it approaches Florida tonight. Irma may achieve Category Five status, once again.

Major Hurricane Irma’s track brings it northward, through the Florida peninsula, and into southern Georgia by Monday afternoon. There is still a bit of uncertainty in Irma’s exact path and subtle wobbles or shifts could alter impacts across our region.

High tides are already running above the astronomical forecast. Tidal flooding is certain around times of high tide for the next few days. Coastal flooding will impact travel on Highway 80 near Tybee Island.

As of the latest forecast from the Weather Prediction Center, a record tide level of greater than 15’ is forecast Monday afternoon. Heavy rain may only further exacerbate coastal flooding Monday.

Even a subtle shift eastward could bring worse conditions to the Georgia coast late Sunday and Monday.

As of this forecast, the most adverse weather conditions are expected to occur across Georgia and South Carolina between 12 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday, peaking Monday afternoon and early evening.

Widespread tropical storm force winds and localized gusts greater than 70 MPH are expected across the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry; strongest south of the Altamaha River. Widespread power outages are likely, especially south of the Savannah River.

Rainfall may amount to as much as 12”-14”. Widespread accumulations of 8” to 10” are forecast between midday Sunday and Monday night. If heavy rain falls during peak high tides, significant flooding may occur along the Interstate 95 corridor.

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.

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