Irma continues to lose tropical characteristics

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Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 11, 2017

2:15 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tropical Storm Irma continues to move north-northwesterly through South Georgia and lose steam based on the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The 2 pm advisory has the center of the storm 50 miles south-southeast of Albany, Ga., moving north-northwest at 17 mph. The minimum central pressure was 980 millibars.

Maximum sustained winds were 60 mph, according to the advisory. Wind observations from the region indicate the strongest winds farther north in Georgia. Atlanta recorded a 61 mph gust Monday afternoon, and Savannah, Ga. recorded a 60-mph wind gust Monday morning. The sustained winds have mostly been under tropical-storm-force.

Irma is showing signs of losing tropical characteristics, as the highest surface winds are far from the center of circulation. Irma is also being smacked by dry air in the southern-half of the storm thanks to an upper-level trough digging through the Southeast U.S.

The system will continue to deteriorate in structure and become extra-tropical as it moves into the Deep South.

Locally, low-level cloudiness will linger for the rest of the day and into the night, with light to moderate rain likely in our western and northern areas. A northwesterly flow will continue through tonight over our western and central viewing area (Tallahassee, Apalachicola, Bainbridge), then become more southeasterly by early Tuesday morning. The southeasterly flow should persist in our eastern areas (Perry, Live Oak). Most guidance models are keeping moisture in the lower levels for Tuesday; therefore, I am tempted to keep mostly cloudy skies in the mix for much of the day.

This will be our final written weather update on Tropical Storm Irma.


Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 11, 2017

11:30 am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The maximum sustained winds have dropped to 65 mph, according to the 11 am advisory. We could still see tropical-storm-force gusts and some rain through the morning and afternoon.

The minimum central pressure is 975 millibars as the storm moves north-northwest (340 degrees) at 17 mph. It was 70 miles east of Tallahassee, which puts the center roughly near Live Oak.

The storm continues to lose wind intensity and structure as the storm has been inland since making landfall near Marco Island, Fla. Sunday evening. Irma's slow demise is also in part because of an upper-level trough across the Southeast U.S., adding wind shear to the storm. Dry air has also been trying to enter the storm from the south. Irma is taking on characteristics similar to a sub-tropical or an extratropical weather system.

We have had plenty of high wind gusts - as high as 62 mph at Moody Air Force Base. Elsewhere, gusts in our area are in the 30-50-mph range, as of 11:25 am Monday.

The wind and rain will continue to relax, but it will still be a windy day across much of our area. Tropical Storm warnings remain in effect for the entire viewing area.

Multiple damage reports have been coming in all morning, including multiple trees down on homes in Tallahassee, and trees down across Madison County according to the National Weather Service.


Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 11, 2017

8:10 am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The winds have decreased from 75 mph to 70 mph as of the 8 am advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Irma is now a tropical storm.

Irma was centered 30 miles north-northeast of Cedar Key, moving north-northwest (340 degrees) at a brisk 18 mph.

We will still see heavy rain, along with tropical-storm-force winds, throughout the morning and into the early afternoon.

As of 8:08 am Monday, nearly 28,000 City of Tallahassee customers were without power, according to their outage map.

Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 11, 2017

6:24 am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- As the center of Hurricane Irma is accelerating north-northwestward, we continue to receive word of wind gusts and power outages.

Moody Air Force Base reported wind gusts as high as 60 mph as of 5:58 am, according to the National Weather Service. Thomasville Municipal Airport also picked up a gust of 39 mph at 5:15 am.

So far, the City of Tallahassee has reported outages across town. But, according to WCTV's Charlene Christobal, it's not widespread as of this posting.



Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 11, 2017

5:10 am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The maximum sustained winds have dropped to 75 mph as Hurricane Irma accelerates its movement.

The 5 am advisory from the National Hurricane Center has the storm 35 miles east-southeast of Cedar Key. It's moving faster at 18 mph as it moves north-northwest (340 degrees). Minimum central pressure is now at 960 millibars.

Bands continue to move through through North Central Florida into Southeast Georgia. We have already received some tropical-storm-force gusts in our area.


The National Weather Service has also reported wind gusts at Moody Air Force Base of 55 mph. The Love Building (meteorology department) at Florida State recorded 46 mph winds at 5:05 am, per the NWS.

Power outages have been reported across our area. There have been reports of increasing numbers of power outages in Lowndes and Lanier counties. The City of Tallahassee continues to tweet out power outages across the city. They have also tweeted that power restoration has temporarily been suspended due Irma's winds.


Stay tuned for the latest updates.


Charles Roop | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 11, 2017

3:30 am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Hurricane Irma winds have dropped, but the Big Bend and South Georgia will still see impacts from this storm.

As of the 2 am intermediate advisory from the National Hurricane Center, maximum sustained winds have dropped to 85 mph as the storm was 20 miles northwest of Lakeland.

Irma was moving north-northwest (345 degrees) at 15 mph. Radar imagery shows the hurricane's north-northwesterly jog through West Central Florida, with the strongest convection moving through Lake and Sumter counties.

Minimum central pressure was at 960 millibars.

We will still feel impacts from Irma as it makes its way towards the Big Bend. We are already seeing reports of gusts increasing at a few reporting stations.


Winds will continue to increase as we move through the morning hours. We will likely see tropical-storm-force winds this morning into the early afternoon as Irma passes our viewing area. A few spots - mainly in our southeastern counties - could see hurricane-force gusts, but the odds for that seem to be decreasing.

We could see rainfall totals 2 to 4 inches in our western areas, but increase to 8 to 10 inches in our eastern areas with some locally higher amounts.

Coastal surge of 4-6 feet is possible - especially in Taylor and Dixie counties.

We will be posting updates on social and the web throughout the morning. We will go wall-to-wall starting at 4 AM, and plan on live streaming our broadcast on our Facebook page (WCTV.tv) and on our website. Be sure to also follow us on Snapchat (WCTVWeather) for updates. We are also on Twitter (@WCTVPinPointWX), and would be the best platform to get rapid-fire updates.


Brittany Bedi | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 11, 2017

12:45 am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The 11 PM update from the National Hurricane Center keeps Irma as a category 2 hurricane with Maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.

As of 12:40AM, the eye wall moved through Lakeland, Florida. Irma continues north at 14 mph.

Irma is still expected to weaken from land interaction and from dry air and wind shear. It is expected to weaken as it approaches the Big Bend. Sustained winds of 30-65 mph are still possible from 4 AM through 4 PM on Monday.



Brittany Bedi | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 10, 2017

10:30 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Hurricane Irma made landfall in Marco Island along the Southwest Florida coast. As of the 8 pm advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Irma is a category 2 storm with 105 mph winds. Irma is picking up speed, moving north at 14 mph.

Hurricane Irma is still a large storm. Rain associated with Irma covers most of the Florida Peninsula.

Irma is expected to continue north along the west coast of Florida. It should weaken to a tropical storm by the time it reaches the Big Bend of Florida and into South Georgia.

Expect conditions to deteriorate overnight Sunday into Monday morning. Winds will reach speed of 39 to 65 mph in most spots. Some gusts of 75 mph are possible. While a weaker forecast for Irma is encouraging, 40 mph winds could easily topple trees, branches, and power lines. Expect power outages through Sunday night and Monday.

Rain amounts will vary throughout the Big Bend and South Georgia. Roughly 8 to 10 inches of rain are possible in areas from Wakulla county up to Worth county and areas east. Areas closer to I-75 will likely see those rain amounts. Around 5 to 7 inches of rain is expected in central portions of the Big Bend. Less rain accumulation is expected further west.

Storm surge will be an issue for coastal Franklin county through Coastal Dixie county. Expect 3 to 6 feet of storm surge above ground possible in those locations.

Irma will be impacted by a trough of low pressure and dry air to the west of the storm. This trough will help weaken Irma and increase its forward movement.

The southeastern Big Bend will begin to experience high winds and strong gusts as early as 2AM Monday. Peak winds through the Big Bend are possible near 2PM. By 2 AM Sunday, most of Irma's strong winds will be in Alabama.

It would be best to shelter in place from Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon.