Weather experts originally said that Hurricane Irma would impact the east coast of Florida around Miami as a category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185 mph. But Irma skirted the northern coast of Cuba instead and weakened down to a category 3 storm.
Then Irma continued to track further west, causing weather experts to predict that Irma would then turn north and skirt along the western coast of Florida and intensify to a category 4 storm before making landfall just south of the Florida panhandle.
Again, Irma defied weather experts and made landfall just south of Naples where it quickly weakened to a category 2 storm. As Irma proceeded north inland, it continued to weaken to a category 1 storm and is now impacting the northern part of Florida and moving into Georgia.
Extremely dangerous Hurricane Irma first crashed into the Florida Keys on Sunday morning and then made a second landfall on Marco Island on Florida’s west coast Sunday afternoon, unleashing violent wind gusts up to 142 mph and storm-surge flooding. The storm was plowing up Florida’s west coast Monday morning and, once it’s over, forecasters feared that this storm will go down as one of the worst in the state’s history.
At 5 a.m., the storm was centered 60 miles north of Tampa. Its eyewall — containing the storm’s most violent winds — had passed northeast of Sarasota. The storm center was plowing north-northwest at 18 mph and expected to weaken as it moves along the northwestern coast of Florida.
Hurricane-force wind gusts were also quite possible on the east coast of parts of Florida into early Monday, the hurricane center said, thanks to Irma’s large wind field…
A friend of mine retired from NOAA where he worked as a meteorologist for over 20 years. He told me that no matter how much weather predicters thinks they know, God keeps them humble by changing the weather on them. Irma is good proof of this. Most of the predictions on the path of Irma were wrong, causing many residents on the western side of Florida to be caught off guard.