Irma jogs westward slightly, still no threat locally

Hurricane Irma, still a Category 4 storm with near-150 mph sustained winds, has shifted slightly westward, and although the track and intensity may change slightly over the next few days, forecasters say the storm poses no threat to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Forecasters made the announcement during this morning’s local briefing, released by the National Weather Service office.

Irma is forecast to move generally west-northwest through early Saturday and maintain its intensity, though small changes in intensity are possible over the next several days. A landfall in Florida is expected with potential additional direct impacts in parts of Georgia, south Carolina, and North Carolina.

Said the forecasters: “We are confident this turn will occur based on the upper level steering pattern. Two areas of strong high pressure are located over Texas and the western Atlantic.  A trough of low pressure over the east coast of the United States will create a path between these two highs for Irma to follow.”

Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose is also now a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph. It is forecast to move toward the west-northwest for the next couple days.  It is then expected to turn northwest over the weekend and northeast early next week and remain over the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Katia remains at Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and is expected to continue drifting slowly southwestward toward Mexico
See this morning’s local briefing
See the local extended forecast