Forecasters from several institutions have indicated that Tropical Storm Irma is becoming better organised and continues to strengthen. Therefore, all individuals in the Virgin Islands should monitor the progress of this system very closely as it approaches the region.
At 5:00p.m. Irma was located at 16.4 degrees north, 31.2 degrees west or about 480 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands and is moving at a westerly direction at 15 miles per hour. Irma is displaying increasingly organised symmetric and interlocking rain bands with a well-defined outflow with winds now at 60 miles per hour. This indicates that the system is strengthening steadily with the possibility of it becoming a hurricane over the next 2-3 days as it tracks westward across the open Atlantic.
The forecast track takes Irma near the northeast Caribbean next Wednesday; however, it is too early to determine the specific areas of impact.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is closely monitoring the development of this system, especially considering the projected strengthening to hurricane force winds.
We are therefore making a special appeal to individuals and specifically those who experienced impacts during the passage of the recent tropical wave, to take extra precautionary measures by assessing their homes, businesses and their surroundings to determine what measures or actions need to be taken in the event that Irma were to impact the Territory. It is important that you take this time now to be ready for any potential effects that this storm might have.
Persons within coastal communities, boaters and sea bathers should also be aware of the possibility of significant swells on the north shore, from Friday into the weekend, as a result of the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey. In addition, considering the forecast strength of Tropical Storm Irma coastal communities could also be affected by large swells and storm surge.
We are therefore appealing to all individuals to monitor sea conditions for changes over the coming days and be prepared to take immediate actions to secure property and protect life.
As Irma approaches we will be providing regular updates and preparedness information to guide you on what you will need to do to be ready.
Please continue to monitor local media stations, DDM’s website (bviddm.com) 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.
Photo Credit: Storm Geo