6 things you need to know about IRMA

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Irma is expected to affect the north-eastern Leeward Islands as a dangerous major hurricane, accompanied by life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts, along with rough surf and rip currents. Preparations should be rushed to completion, as tropical-storm force winds are expected to first arrive in the hurricane warning area by late Tuesday. -National Hurricane Centre (NHC)

Where is Irma now?
At 200 PM, the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.7 North, longitude 53.8 West which is roughly 475 miles away.  Irma is moving toward the west-southwest near 14 mph (22 km/h).
When is Irma expected to hit?
Outer rain-bands associated with the system could begin to affect the islands on late Tuesday with the Cyclone expected to pass at its closest after midnight (into Wednesday).
What are Irma’s windspeed?
Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts.  Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).
Is there a watch or warning in effect?
Antigua and Barbuda has been under Hurricane Watch since 11 a.m. The National Hurricane Centre forecast brings the hurricane to category 4 strength within the next 24 hours, and then maintains Irma as a powerful hurricane during the next 5 days.
How much rain is expected?
Rainfall totals of 3-6 inches are possible with the passage of Irma with maximum amounts of 10 inches. This could lead to flooding and residents in low lying areas should be prepared to move to higher ground.
What is happening at sea?
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels along the coasts of the extreme northern Leeward Islands within the hurricane warning area near and to the north of the centre of Irma.  Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

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