WCF SPECIAL BULLETIN #3 – 1100 EDT – 9/05/17

HURRICANE IRMA – BRIEFING #1 – 1100 EDT – 9/05/17

SITUATION:  As of 1100 EDT, Hurricane Irma was located about 140 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico in the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. Irma is still moving west-northwest at approximately 14 miles per hour, has maximum sustained winds of 185 MPH, making it a dangerous Category 5 hurricane. The minimum central pressure is 27.11″, which is extremely low. Hurricane Watches are already in effect for much of the coastline of Cuba and the central Bahamas and Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the lower Bahamas.

Irma is expected to continue its west-northwest track going around the southern periphery of the mid Atlantic ridge of high pressure. Once it reaches the southwestern side of the high, Irma is forecast to turn northwest, then north and toward Florida in response to a trough of low pressure coming out of the continental United States heading towards Florida, which will erode the mid Atlantic high pressure ridge slightly. The two National Hurricane Center forecast tracks have shifted the forecast track of Irma east each time. Now the center of the track is forecast to move over the eastern coastline of the Florida peninsula. However, pay attention to the cone of uncertainty as it still covers much of southern and central Florida.

Hurricane Irma Forecast Discussion: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT1+shtml/061448.shtml

Hurricane Irma Graphical Forecast Track: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at1+shtml/145453.shtml?cone#contents

ACTIONS:  At this time, Highlands, Hillsborough and Polk Counties have either opened shelters or in the process of preparing to open shelters and the ARES groups in these counties have been asked to provide communications support for these operations.  Other counties in the West Central Florida Section are considering shelter operations.  Therefore in support of these activations or planned activations, West Central Florida Section ARES is going to a Level 2 activation to provide any needed support for these activations, either current or planned.  All ARES, ACS, and CERT personnel are requested to continue to closely monitor the National Hurricane Center latest advisories on Hurricane Irma and to be in communications with their respective leadership in case their assistance with communications support is needed.

A special session of the ARRL West Central Florida Section ARES Net is being planned in support of Hurricane Irma.  The announcement will be publicly disseminated here on the Section website.

The next WCF SECTION SPECIAL BULLETIN for Hurricane Irma will be issued tomorrow at 1100 EDT, or sooner if conditions warrant.