Hurricane Irma, now a Category 4 storm, expected to make landfall in Florida
Hurricane Irma lost some of its strength overnight, becoming a Category 4 storm. But, the major hurricane is still powerful as it's expected to make landfall somewhere along the Florida coast this weekend. Meteorologists say the storm is experiencing eyewall replacement and could strengthen again. TRACK THE STORM
The Caribbean is still feeling the impact of the storm as what it has already encountered has been left devastated and it tracks through the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas this morning. Currently Irma's sustained winds are measured at 155 mph and has been blamed for more than a dozen deaths.
Tropical impacts are expected as early as late Sunday, but especially Monday into early Tuesday. The exact track and intensity will determine the exact impacts here in the Lowcountry like how strong the winds will be, if we get a storm surge and how much, how much rain falls, if there will be the threat of tornadoes, and if there will be any beach erosion. We will continue to tweak the forecast as the path of Irma becomes more clear moving forward.
Thursday evening the track shifted west, and if the latest track sticks, it which could mean lessened impacts for South Carolina. Parts of the Lowcountry, including Charleston, Summerville and Moncks Corner were shaved out of the storm's impact cone. Colleton and Beaufort counties remain in the cone.
South Carolina is currently under a State of Emergency, which was ordered by Gov. Henry McMaster on Wednesday. On Thursday the governor announced the closure of all schools and government office until further notice and shared mandatory evacuations could take place Saturday morning.
"If you can leave now, go ahead," Gov. McMaster said.
There's already a high risk for rip currents at area beaches today, and there is a small craft advisory for coastal waters.
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