September 2, 20172648Views

Hurricane Irma remains a very strong hurricane…preparedness actions should continue

The Department of Disaster Management continues to follow the progress of Hurricane Irma now located approximately 1130 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Irma is moving towards the west at 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.

Gradual intensification is likely during the next several days with occasional periods in which the intensity fluctuates. In addition, it should gradually expand in size, especially once it moves north of the Greater Antilles. Forecasters’ think Hurricane Irma has the potential to eventually become a large category 4 hurricane with winds reaching as high as 140 mph to 150 mph.

Irma is expected to make its closest approach to the Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands on Wednesday. It will be a powerful hurricane at that time. Therefore, if the system tracks close enough to the Leeward and Virgin Islands, then widespread significant impacts can be expected.

Currently Irma is located at latitude 18.3 degrees North , longitude 46.2 degrees west with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 25 miles per hour from the centre and tropical storm force winds up to 70 miles. Pressure is 973 mb.

The National Hurricane Centre has noted that Irma is expected to be a major hurricane when it moves closer to the Lesser Antilles early next week, producing rough surf and rip currents. Irma could also cause dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts on some islands, although it is too soon to specify where and when those hazards could occur.

Residents are urged to continue their preparedness efforts for this approaching hurricane and continue to monitor the powerful hurricane as it has the potential to affect the British Virgin Islands.

Please continue to monitor local media stations, DDM’s website ( and Facebook at BVIDDM for regular updates.

Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result in the loss of finances, property or life.