Over the last couple of days I have been watching the forecast tracks for Irma. The category 5 hurricane has been slowly bearing down on populated areas and should strike land this weekend.
I am especially concerned as I have a lot of friends, family and colleagues in Florida.
I am especially watching where Irma tracks in relation to the Tampa Bay area as some of my really good friends either live or go to school there. My friend Luke has sent his family to stay with other family members away from Florida, but he is holding down the fort. I have gone to Israel with Luke each of the past three summers. In the picture above he is standing on the shore of the Galilee where there are much calmer waters than will be seen in Florida this weekend.
My main weather source is accuweather.com and above you can see the latest forecast of where Irma will be over the next few days. In this view the four different forecast tracks are fairly close through Florida. They all expect Irma to hit the Southwest coast of Florida on Sunday morning.
I just got back from about a five mile walk and checked the forecast again. You can see that the yellow and red tracks have shifted to the west. The two blue tracks are the same, but they are computer generated and only get updated a few times a day. The red track is from Accuweather and the yellow track is from the National Hurricane Center.
Irma has also strengthened again to a category 5 hurricane and has made landfall in Cuba. This will possibly weaken Irma, but once she goes back out to sea again she will strengthen over the warm waters.
It will be very interesting to see what the forecast is in the morning as this direction change has to be taken into account. You can see that one of the computer models did expect a direction change, but it happened later than expected. How quickly will it change direction again, that will be an important piece in the puzzle.
We do not know where exactly Irma will go, but we need to make sure we keep all the people in the potential path in our prayers.