Hurricane watches issued as Irma heads toward Caribbean
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
Hurricane Irma continues moving west as a Category 3 storm, prompting hurricane watches for several Caribbean islands.
The storm is currently about 710 miles east of the Leeward Islands, a little less than 2,000 miles from South Florida.
Irma has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and is moving west at 14 mph.
Hurricane Watches have been issued for the following islands:
- Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis
- Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
- Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy
The remainder of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico should closely monitor the progress of Irma, the National Hurricane Center said.
While there may be a reduction in speed Monday night, additional Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches may be required for portions of this area on Monday.
Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area by Tuesday night, with tropical storm conditions possible by late Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Swells generated by Irma will begin affecting the northern Leeward Islands on Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
The storm is predicted to strengthen during the next 48 hours.
Towards next weekend, Irma will be making it's closest approach to South Florida. At this point, there is still a wide variety of possibilities here, ranging from tropical storm to hurricane conditions. The storm can still curve east, giving us little trouble, if any.
CBS 12 meteorogist Michael Ehrenberg went live on Facebook, explaining what to expect from Hurricane Irma.