Hurricane Irma is continuing to head westward as a ridge of high pressure to the north of the storm is steering it. This motion is expected to continue and the storm could approach the Caribbean islands by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week as a major hurricane. It’s yet to be seen if the northern islands or Puerto Rico will see a direct impact from Irma, but these areas will have to prepare for a major hurricane through the weekend.
Thereafter, models continue it west-northwest in the general direction of the Bahamas. Now, once we get to this point in the forecast, the forecast time is beyond 7 days out. I must stress and stress again that forecasts are highly suspect at this long range. If Harvey taught us any lesson it’s that the models are not gospel and shifts in either direction can happen over a short period of time. With that being said, we do have some long-term model agreement between the GFS and European models. The European model was the one that you probably saw on social media, taking Irma into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Today it has joined the GFS model, taking Irma on a more northern track once entering the Bahamas in about 8-9 days. Irma could still pose a threat to the eastern seaboard down the road and this possibility will have to be monitored through the next week. However, this is a long ways out and things could certainly change. The reason why I am stressing this so much is because I myself have seen fake postings on social media, calling the storm into the Gulf and even pinpointing a landfall location somewhere in Texas or Louisiana. These postings are false and no model currently takes it on that track. Could the tracks shift back towards the Gulf, yes, but as of now most models are east of us. We will continue to watch it and update you with the latest information here at KLFY.
Now for us locally, we are enjoying some nice weather with a northerly wind and mostly sunny skies. This will be changing though as we head through early next week. A strong cold front will begin to work into the area Monday night and Tuesday. This should rapidly increase rain chances heading through Tuesday. Later in the forecast, models have this front moving to our south and giving us a big taste of Fall. I’m using the word “big” because models do not simply show lower humidity and a temperature drop of a few degrees. Models are showing highs in the upper 70s/low 80s Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week, with lows falling into the upper 50s/lower 60s! Record lows for next week are in the low 50s, so no records will be threatened, but temperatures this low are pretty rare for early September. We’ll continue to monitor this forecast and also track Irma through the weekend.
~Meteorologist Trevor Sonnier