Irma Grows, Heads Across West Atlantic - NBC Boston

Irma Grows, Heads Across West Atlantic

Top winds have reached 140 mph, making Irma the strongest hurricane since Ophelia in 2011

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Overnight Monday Night: Mostly clear. Lows near 60. Tomorrow: Sunshine mixing with clouds, a thunderstorm north and west. Muggy with highs in the low 80s. (Published Monday, Sept. 4, 2017)

    Irma is on a rampage across the Western Atlantic this evening. Top winds have reached 140 mph, making Irma the strongest hurricane since Ophelia in 2011. What's both remarkable and worrisome is the storm should continue on a westward track for the next several days, maintaining strength and moving unimpeded as it skirts the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

    The setting is a familiar one for storms of this magnitude: light upper level winds, stupendous storm structure, and very warm ocean water. We see no reason to veer from this forecast, as Irma keeps everyone in suspense as it nears the US Mainland. Of course, that's where the forecast becomes more nebulous. A deep upper level low across New England ensures that the storm has no chance of landfall here, but it also befuddles the steering currents farther south across Florida.

    Many of the models shift it north along the East Coast of Florida, in response to the deep area of upper low pressure in New England. This seems plausible, since the storm may interact with a front associated with the upper low and subsequently creep up the Eastern Seaboard with time. Of course, this is all preliminary and speculative, given that we are talking about 7-10 days into the future. For now, the storm remains a near-term threat to the Anquilla and the British Virgin Islands. Beyond that, everyone is holding their breath.


    Get the latest from NBC Boston anywhere, anytime:

    App

    Download our FREE app for iPhone, iPad and Android. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our e-mail newsletters.