At 2:00 PM, the National Hurricane Centre has indicated that maximum sustained winds for Hurricane Irma have increased to near 185 miles per hour (mph) with higher gusts.
Irma remains an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.
It was located near latitude 16.9 degrees North, longitude 59.1 West. Irma is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest tonight. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma is forecast to move over portions of the northern Leeward Islands tonight and early Wednesday.
The BVI is located along latitude 18.25 degrees North, longitude 64.37 degrees West.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km).
The latest minimum central pressure reported by reconnaissance aircraft is 926 mb (27.34 inches).
Irma is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 10 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across northeast Puerto Rico and the British and U.S.Virgin Island.
Swells generated by Irma will affect the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands during the next several days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Therefore, the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological services has warned that sea conditions will be extremely dangerous with swells of 6.1 to 9.1 metres or 20 to 30 feet during the passage of Irma. Small Craft operators should stay in Port and ensure that all vessels are safely moored and sea bathers should avoid waters.
Please continue to monitor local media stations, DDM’s website (bviddm.com) and Facebook at BVIDDM for regular updates and preparedness tips.
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.