Tag Archives: 13L

Hurricane Leslie Speeds Toward Portugal and Spain

After spending almost three weeks meandering around the Central Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Leslie sped toward Portugal and Spain on Friday afternoon.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Leslie was located at latitude 33.3°N and longitude 26.1°W which put it about 515 miles (830 km) west of Madeira, Island.  Leslie was moving toward the east-northeast at 33 m.p.h. (54 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 971 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for Madeira Island.

The circulation around Hurricane Leslie remained well organized.  A small circular eye was at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  The ring of storms was thinner west of the eye.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms north and east of the eye were revolving around the core of Hurricane Leslie.  Bands south and west of the center of circulation consisted mostly of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center of Hurricane Leslie.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 230 miles (370 km) from the center of circulation.  Much of the stronger winds were occurring in the southern half of the circulation.

Hurricane Leslie will be moving through an environment unfavorable for a hurricane.  Leslie is currently over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 25°C, but it will move over cooler water during the next 24 to 36 hours.  An upper level trough south of Iceland is producing strong westerly winds which are blowing toward the top of Hurricane Leslie.  Those winds will cause significant vertical wind shear, but Hurricane Leslie will move south of the strongest winds.  A combination of cooler water and strong vertical wind shear will cause Hurricane Leslie to make a transition to a strong extratropical cyclone during the next day or so.

The upper level trough south of Iceland will steer Hurricane Leslie quickly toward the east-northeast.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Leslie will approach southern Portugal on Sunday morning.  Leslie will likely be a strong extratropical cyclone at that time.  Leslie will bring strong winds and heavy rain to parts of Portugal and Spain during the weekend.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Possible Tropical Development Near Yucatan Peninsula

A tropical cyclone could develop near the Yucatan peninsula during the next few days.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Invest 91L was located at latitude 16.0°N and longitude 84.3°W which put it about 400 miles (640 km) southeast of Cancun, Mexico.  It was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

A broad area of low pressure is over the western Caribbean Sea, Central America and the adjacent waters of the Eastern North Pacific Ocean.  Several smaller, mesoscale centers of rotation appear to be revolving around the larger low pressure system.  One of the mesoscale centers is over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean just west of the coast of Central America.  One or two other mesoscale centers appear to be over the western Caribbean Sea near Honduras.  The low level circulation is not currently well organized.  It is broad and diffuse.  Thunderstorms are clustered around the mesoscale centers, but large scale rainbands have not formed.

Westerly winds in the upper levels are are blowing over the top of the system.  Those winds are creating moderate vertical wind shear which is inhibiting the development of the low pressure system.  The upper level winds are forecast to weaken during the next few days and the wind shear will diminish.  The Sea Surface Temperature of the water in the northwestern Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico is near 30°C.  The broad low pressure system could slowly organize during the next two to three days.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is a 70% probability of formation of a tropical cyclone near the Yucatan peninsula or over the southern Gulf of Mexico during the next five days.  A reconnaissance plane is scheduled to investigate the low pressure system on Sunday, if necessary.

The broad low is southwest of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high is expected to steer the low toward the northwest during the weekend.  On its anticipated track the low will move over the northwestern Caribbean Sea during the next several days.  it could move into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Leslie continued to meander northeast of Bermuda.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Leslie was located at latitude 36.2°N and longitude 58.4°W which put it about 455 miles (730 km) northeast of Bermuda.  Leslie was moving toward the north-northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

Leslie Strengthens Into a Hurricane East of Bermuda

Former Tropical Storm Leslie strengthened into a hurricane east of Bermuda on Wednesday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Leslie was located at latitude 29.5°N and longitude 56.8°W which put it about 510 miles (825 km) east-southeast of Bermuda.  Leslie was nearly stationary.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 975 mb.

After being designated as a subtropical storm, Hurricane Leslie made a transition to an extratropical cyclone and then back to a subtropical storm.  Leslie eventually moved over warmer water and the structure changed to that of a tropical storm, which intensified slowly until it reached hurricane intensity earlier this morning.  It is gradually exhibiting the classical appearance and structure of a hurricane.

There is a circular eye at the center of circulation.  A nearly complete ring of thunderstorms surrounds the eye and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of Hurricane Leslie.  Storms near the core are generating upper level divergence which is pumping mass away from the hurricane, which is causing the surface pressure to decrease.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 230 miles (370 km) from the center.

Hurricane Leslie will remain in an environment favorable for intensification for another day or two.  Leslie will remain over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27.5°C.  it will be in a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Leslie is likely to get a little stronger during the next day or so.  Leslie will move over cooler water later this week and it will start to weaken when that happens.

Hurricane Leslie has been in an area where the steering winds were weak which is why it has meandered east of Bermuda during the past few days.  A subtropical ridge southeast of Leslie will strengthen during the next day or two and the ridge will start to steer the hurricane toward the north.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Leslie will move farther away from Bermuda later this week.

Hurricane Irma Grinds Along Cuba’s North Coast

Hurricane Irma ground its way along the northern coast of Cuba on Saturday morning.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Irma was located at latitude 23.1°N and longitude 80.2°W which put it about 145 miles (235 km) southeast of Key West, Florida.  Irma was moving toward the west at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 941 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Aucilla River to Fernandina Beach, Florida including the Florida Keys and Lake Okeechobee.  Hurricane Watches are in effect for the portions of the coast from Auculla River to Indian Pass, Florida and from Fernandina Beach, Florida to Edisto Beach, South Carolina.  Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for the portions of the coast from Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County line and from Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Matanzas, La Habana.  A Hurricane Warning was in effect for Andros Island, Bimini and Grand Bahama Island.  A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Cuban provinces of Holguin and Las Tunas.

Hurricane Irma weakened on Saturday morning as the center moved along the northern coast of Cuba.  However, the core of Hurricane Irma remained intact.  There was an eye at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye.  Numerous spiral bands were revolving around the core of Hurricane Irma.  Thunderstorms in the core of Irma were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the center of the hurricane.

Hurricane Irma is a large hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 185 miles (295 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Irma was 23.6.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 23.6 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 47.2.  Those indices indicate Hurricane Irma is capable of causing widespread major damage.

Hurricane Irma will move through an environment favorable for intensification for another 12 to 18 hours.  Irma will over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 31°C.  The upper level winds are relatively weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Irma is likely to intensify back to Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and it could reach Category 5.  Hurricane Irma will move closer to an upper level trough over the eastern U.S. on Sunday.  Southerly winds on the eastern side of the trough will increase the vertical wind shear and Hurricane Irma will start to weaken.

Hurricane Irma is moving around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The subtropical high is steering Hurricane Irma toward the west-northwest.  Hurricane Irma will turn more toward the north-northwest when it reaches the western end of the high.  On its anticipated track the core of Hurricane Irma will move away from Cuba.  The center of Hurricane Irma will be near the Florida Keys by early Sunday morning.  Hurricane Irma could be near the southwest coast of Florida by Sunday afternoon.

Hurricane Irma will be capable of causing widespread extensive damage.  Winds blowing water toward the coast will generate significant storms surges.  Hurricane force winds will cause widespread damage as the Hurricane Irma moves near the west coast of Florida.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean Hurricane Jose was moving near the northern Leeward Islands.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT the center of Hurricane Jose was located at latitude 18.8°N and longitude 61.9°W which put it about 95 miles (155 km) east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands.  Jose was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (23 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 145 m.p.h. (230 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 175 m.p.h. (285 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 945 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for Barbuda, Anguilla, Sint Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

The core of Hurricane Jose and the strongest winds will move northeast of the northern Leeward Islands.  The southern part of the circulation will bring gusty winds which will hamper recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma.  Jose is forecast to stall over the Atlantic and there is much uncertainty about the ultimate long term track.

The remnants of Hurricane Katia were raining themselves out over eastern Mexico.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Depression Katia was located at latitude 20.0°N and longitude 97.9°W which put it about 125 miles (200 km) west-northwest of Veracruz, Mexico.  Katia was moving toward the west-southwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Hurricane Irma Batters Bahamas, Jose Threatens Leewards, Katia Nears Mexico

The tropical Atlantic Ocean continued to be very active on Friday.  Destructive Hurricane Irma battered the Southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.  Powerful Hurricane Jose threatened the northern Leeward Islands only 48 hours after Hurricane Irma caused significant damage to them.  Hurricane Katia neared a landfall on the coast of Mexico between Tampico and Veracruz.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Irma was located at latitude 22.1°N and longitude 76.5°W which put it about 345 miles (555 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.  Irma was moving toward the west at 12 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 180 m.p.h. (290 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 925 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Anna Maria Island to Sebastian Inlet, Florida including the Florida Keys and Lake Okeechobee.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from Anna Maria Island to the Suwannee River and from Sebastian Inlet to the Flagler/Volusia Count line.  A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara.  Hurricane Warnings were in effect for the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Andros island, Berry Island, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.  Hurricane Warnings were in effect for the central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.  Hurricane Warnings were in effect for the southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Long Cay, Crooked Island, the Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands.

Hurricane Watches were in effect for the Cuba provinces of Matanzas, Holguin, Las Tunas and Guantanamo.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Cuban provinces of Holguin, Las Tunas and Guantamo.

Hurricane Irma completed an eyewall replacement cycle on Friday morning.  After the inner eyewall dissipated the circulation rapidly concentrated on the outer eyewall.  The eyewall replacement cycle caused some weakening of Hurricane Irma but it remained a powerful Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  The eyewall replacement cycle resulted in an increase in the size of the circulation of Hurricane Irma.  Winds to hurricane force now extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out almost 185 miles (295 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Irma is 33.3.  The Hurricane Size Index is 23.0 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index is 56.3.  Hurricane Irma is stronger, but a little smaller than Hurricane Wilma was when Wilma made landfall in south Florida in 2005.

Hurricane Irma is moving through a very favorable environment.  Irma is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  Part of the southern side of the circulation is passing over Cuba, but the core of Hurricane Wilma is remaining over water.  Hurricane Irma should remain a very powerful hurricane during the next 36 hours.

Hurricane Irma is moving near the western end of a large subtropical high that has been steering the hurricane toward the west.  Irma started to move a little more slowly on Friday afternoon as it approached the end of the high.  Hurricane Irma is forecast to continue to move west-northwest for another 12 to 24 hours.  When Hurricane Irma reaches the end of the high, it will start moving toward the north.  On its anticipated track the core of Hurricane Irma will pass north of the north coast of Cuba on Saturday.  Hurricane Irma is forecast to reach the Florida Keys on Saturday night.

Hurricane Irma is a large and dangerous hurricane.  Irma is capable of causing widespread extensive damage.  Hurricane Irma’s winds will be very destructive and they could cause widespread power outages in Florida.  There will be a significant storm surge in the Florida Keys and on both the east and west coast of Florida.

Hurricane Jose intensified rapidly on Friday to Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  Jose now threatens to bring very strong winds to places devastated by Hurricane Irma earlier this week.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Jose was located at latitude 16.6°N and longitude 58.3°W which put it about 335 miles (540 km) east of the Leeward Islands.  Jose was moving toward the west-northwest at 17 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 180 m.p.h. (290 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 940 mb.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Barthelemy, Sint Maarten and St. Martin.  A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Antigua.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Antigua, Saba and St. Eustatius.  Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. John.

Hurricane Jose has a small, well organized circulation.  There is a clear eye at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strong winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Hurricane Jose is much smaller than Hurricane Irma.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 140 miles (225 km) from the center.

Upper level divergence from Hurricane Irma is causing some vertical wind shear over Hurricane Jose, but the shear did not prevent Jose from intensifying into a major hurricane.  Hurricane Jose is forecast to remain a major hurricane for several more days.  The same subtropical high steering Hurricane Irma is also steering Jose toward the west north-west.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Jose could reach the northern Leeward Islands late on Saturday.  Some of those islands suffered widespread extensive damage from Hurricane Irma and a direct hit by Jose would be devastating.  Even if the core of Hurricane Jose moves just north of those islands, the strong winds will serious affect efforts to recover from Hurricane Irma.

After being nearly stationary over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico for several days, Hurricane Katia began to move toward the coast of Mexico on Friday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Katia was located near latitude 21.0°N and longitude 96.5°W which put it about 125 miles (225 km) north of Veracruz, Mexico.  Katia was moving toward the west-southwest at 7 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 972 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde, Mexico.

Hurricane Katia is a small hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force only extend out about 25 miles (40 km) from the center.  Winds to tropical storm force only extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

A mid-level ridge over the western Gulf of Mexico is steering Hurricane Katia toward the west-southwest.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Katia will make landfall on the coast of Mexico between Tampico and Veracruz on Friday night.  The center is likely to make landfall near Tecolutla.  Although the small size of Katia’s circulation will limit the wind damage, the hurricane will cause a significant storm surge along the portion of the coast where the center makes landfall.  Katia will also produce heavy rain and a chance for flash floods as it moves inland and dissipates.

Powerful Hurricane Irma Approaches Bahamas, Watches Issued for Florida

Powerful Hurricane Irma move north of the Dominican Republic on its approach to the Bahamas on Thursday morning.  Hurricane Watches were issued for south Florida because of the potential impact of Hurricane Irma.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Irma was located at latitude 20.4°N and longitude 69.7°W which put it about 120 miles (190 km) southeast of Grand Turk Island and about 785 miles (1265 km) east-southeast of Miami, Florida.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 175 m.p.h. (280 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 200 m.p.h. (320 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 921 mb.

Hurricane Warnings were in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, the southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands, the central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Island, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach, Florida including the Florida Keys and Lake Okeechobee and from Matanzas province to Guantanamo province in Cuba.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic to the southern border with Haiti, from Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port Au Prince, Haiti and for the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas.

Hurricane Irma remains a large and dangerous hurricane.  Irma weakened slightly on Thursday morning, but it still was a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  Irma has a large circular eye at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 185 miles (305 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Irma is 40.4.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 19.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 59.6.  Those indices indicate that Hurricane Irma is capable of causing widespread catastrophic damage.

Hurricane Irma will remain in a favorable environment for the next several days.  Irma will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear during the next 24 to 36 hours.  When Irma gets farther north it will be near the southern end of a large upper level trough over the eastern U.S.  The trough will produce southeasterly winds which will increase the shear somewhat.  Hurricane Irma will remain a large dangerous hurricane.

Hurricane Irma is moving around the western end of a subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high is steering Irma toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue for another 36 to 48 hours.  The effects of the upper level trough are expected to turn Irma toward the north during the weekend.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Irma will reach the Turks and Caicos on Thursday night.  Irma will move across the southeastern Bahamas on Friday and it could be north of Cuba by Saturday morning.  Hurricane Irma could reach southern Florida by Sunday morning.

Hurricane Irma is capable of causing widespread catastrophic damage.  Irma will generate storm surges as high as 19 feet (6 meters) when it passes over the Bahamas.  Irma will cause widespread wind damage and locally heavy rain could cause flash floods.

The destructive core of Hurricane Irma moved over Barbuda, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin.  There are reports of widespread damage on those islands.  Other nearby islands my have also suffered significant damage.

Hurricane Jose is following in the wake of Hurricane Irma and Watches have been issued for some of the northern Leeward Islands.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Jose was located at latitude 14.9°N and longitude 50.6°W which put it about 715 miles (1155 km) east of the Leeward Islands.  Jose was moving toward the west-northwest at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

Hurricane Watches have been issued for Antigua and Barbuda.  Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis.

Hurricane Jose is moving through a favorable environment of warm Sea Surface Temperatures and little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Jose is forecast to intensify into a major hurricane.  The same subtropical high steering Hurricane Irma is also steering Hurricane Jose.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Jose could reach the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday.  It could be a major hurricane at that time.  If Hurricane Jose moves over some of the same places hit by Hurricane Irma it will serious impede efforts to recover from Irma.

Hurricane Katia is threatening parts of Mexico.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Katia was located at latitude 21.6°N and longitude 94.6°W which put it about 215 miles (345 km) east of Tampico, Mexico.  Katia was stationary.  the maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155km/h)  The minimum surface pressure was 980 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde, Mexico.

 

Cat. 5 Hurricane Irma Moving Over Northern Leeward Islands

Category 5 Hurricane Irma moved over the northern Leeward Islands on Wednesday morning.  At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Irma was located at latitude 17.9°N and longitude 62.6°W which put it about 35 miles (55 km) east-southeast of St. Martin.  Irma was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 185 m.p.h. (295 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 210 m.p.h. (340 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 912 mb.

The core of Hurricane Irma moved across Antigua, Barbuda, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin in recent hours.  It will reach Anguilla later this morning.

Hurricane Watches were in effect for Antigua, Anguilla, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, Guadeloupe, the southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Cooked Islands, Long Cay, the Iguanas, Mayaguane, the Ragged Islands, the Turks and Caicos, and the portion of the coast of Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic to the northern border with Haiti.  Hurricane Watches are in effect for the central Bahamas, the portion of the coast from Le Mole St. Nicholas to the northern border with Haiti and from Matanzas province to Guantanamo province in Cuba.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic to the southern border with Haiti.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast from Le Mole St. Nicolas, Haiti to Port Au Prince.

Hurricane Irma maintained its intensity during the northern overnight hours.  It has a circular eye with a diameter of 30 miles (48 km).  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 160 miles (260 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) is 44.1.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 19.8 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 63.9.  Those indices indicate that Hurricane Irma is capable of causing widespread catastrophic wind damage.

Hurricane Irma will continue to move over an environment very favorable for hurricanes.  Irma will stay over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds will remain weak for several more days and there will be little wind shear.  An upper level trough over the eastern U.S. will produce strong winds when Irma gets closer to Florida.  The wind shear will increase at that time.  Hurricane Irma could go through eyewall replacement cycles which would cause fluctuations in intensity.

Hurricane Irma is moving near the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean which is steering Irma toward the west-northwest.  The west-northwesterly motion is expected to continue for several more days.  Eventually, the upper level trough over the eastern U.S. is forecast to turn Hurricane Irma toward the north when it approaches Florida.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Irma is forecast to pass north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Jose is trailing behind Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Katia has developed over the southern Gulf of Mexico.  At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Jose was located at latitude 12.5°N and longitude 42.8°W which put it about 1255 miles east of the Leeward Islands.  Jose was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Katia was located at latitude 22.1°N and longitude 96.3°W which put it about 105 miles (165 km) east of Tampico, Mexico.  Katia was moving toward the east at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Tropical Storm Lisa Develops West of the Cape Verde Islands

Tropical Depression Thirteen intensified into Tropical Storm Lisa west of the Cape Verde Islands on Tuesday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Lisa was located at latitude 16.4°N and longitude 31.0°W which put it about 465 miles (750 km) west of the Cape Verde Islands.  Lisa was moving toward the northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (70 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

The degree of organization of the circulation of Tropical Storm Lisa depends on the level of the atmosphere.  The low level circulation is not well organized.  There is a broad center of circulation, but it does not have a tight core of thunderstorms.  Most of the thunderstorms are east of the center of circulation.  There are also several fragmented rainbands in the eastern half of the circulation.  There are only lower clouds and a few showers in the western half of the circulation.  However, the circulation is more well organized in the upper levels.  The thunderstorms in the eastern half of the circulation are generating upper level divergence which is pumping out mass toward the northeast and toward the northwest.  It appears that the circulation could be tilted toward the northeast with height.

The environment around Tropical Storm Lisa is marginal for intensification.  Lisa is moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) is near 28°C.  However, an upper level trough north of Lisa is producing southwesterly winds which are blowing across the tropical storm.  The winds are causing moderate vertical wind shear, which probably contributed to the asymmetrical distribution of thunderstorms.  Tropical Storm Lisa could intensify somewhat on Wednesday, if the upper level winds diminish.  When Lisa moves farther north later this week, it will move over cooler SSTs and into a region where the upper level winds are stronger.  Less energy in the upper ocean and more vertical wind shear will cause Tropical Storm Lisa to weaken later this week.

Tropical Storm Lisa is moving northwest toward a section of the subtropical ridge which is weaker.  Lisa is expected to continue to move in that general direction for the next several days.  Tropical Storm Lisa will move farther into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and it will not threaten any land areas this week.