This post was updated at 10am on Sunday.
Hurricane Irma has hit Florida.
The storm was downgraded to category 3 on Saturday, but regained strength on Sunday, making landfall as a category 4 hurricane on Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys. Sunday’s 9am NOAA advisory pegged Irma’s maximum sustained wind speed at 130 miles per hour.
Irma has already hit St. Barts, St. Martin, Antigua, Anguilla, the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Barbuda, the northern coast of Hispaniola, Turks and Caicos, and the northern coast of Cuba, and is currently taking aim at south Florida.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a storm surge warning for South Santee River south to Jupiter Inlet, North Miami Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to Ochlockonee River, the Florida Keys, and Tampa Bay. A hurricane warning in in effect for Fernandina Beach around the peninsula to Indian Pass, the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay, and the Cuban Provinces of Matanzas and La Habana.
All counties in Florida are under a state of emergency. Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina declared states of emergency as well. More than 6 million people have been ordered to leave their homes and 300,000 in Florida are already without power.
The NWS forecasts the eye of Irma will move near or over the west coast of the Florida Peninsula later Sunday through Sunday night, when it will move inland over northern Florida and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon. Irma could weaken, but is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it moves through Florida.
Where will Hurricane Irma make landfall?
The forecasted path of the storm has shifted significantly since the beginning of the week. Here are the most recent (as of Sunday 9:00am eastern) storm-timing forecasts from the National Hurricane Center:
- Florida Keys: Irma’s core hit the lower Florida Keys early Sunday morning
- Miami: The storm’s path is now forecast to travel west of Miami, but the city will experience hurricane-force winds on Sunday
- Napes, FL: Naples is already experiencing strong winds and rain. Irma’s eyewall will likely be very close to the city Sunday afternoon
- St. Petersburg: The most recent NOAA forecast puts landfall right at the St. Petersburg/Sarasota area late Sunday night into early Monday
- Orlando, FL: The eye will travel west of the city, closer to Clearwater, but Orlando will experience hurricane-force winds late Sunday into early Monday
- Gainesville, FL: Irma’s core is forecasted to move west Gainesville, which will experience hurricane-force winds on Monday
- Tallahassee, FL: The storm will travel up the west coast toward Tallahassee, where it’s predicted to be downgraded to category 1
- Columbus, GA: Irma will move into Georgia, south of Atlanta near Columbus by early Tuesday, when it’s expected to downgrade to a tropical storm
Here is how you can track Hurricane Irma as it moves into the US:
Hurricane Irma storm tracker
Chart the storm’s progress with this live storm tracking map from WNYC (the widget is also tracking Hurricane Jose, so make sure “Hurricane Irma” is selected on the top left).
Hurricane Irma live webcams
As long as power and internet stay on, you can track Irma’s progress through these live webcams:
- Key West: Mallory Square webcam, broadcasting from the cruise ship docks
- Key West: Southernmost point webcam, pointing south towards the water
- Key West: South Most Beach Resort, looking out at the pier
- As of Sunday, many services are down, but here is a list of cams located across the Florida Keys
- Miami: Coconut Grove cam, facing east towards Miami Beach
- Miami: Intercontinental Hotel webcam, near downtown looking at the Bayfront Park
- Miami: There are a few live webcams streaming throughout Miami
- Tampa: Here are some web cams in west Florida, around the Tampa area
- Orlando: Orlando has two altitude webcams—One faces east and one west
- Orlando: Epcot/Disney Springs cam—Located at the Blue Heron Resort in Orlando, facing east
- St. Petersburg: Tradewind Islands Resort cam, looking west to St. Pete beach
- St. Petersburg: St. Pete Pier cam, looking onto the marina and ocean
- Gainesville: University of Florida Osprey cam, right field light pole of the UF baseball stadium
- Alachua: Santa Fe high school, Alachua, FL, just north of Gainesville—Time-lapse cam
Storm-chaser live stream
Professional storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski’s live stream from Rockport, Texas riveted the internet with gripping footage from the eye of Hurricane Harvey as it hit land. Piotrowski is near Naples, FL tracking Irma and according to his most recent update, will be broadcasting live when the storm makes landfall (if there is a strong enough signal).
Here’s a link to Piotrowski’s periscope page, where he’s posting live updates.