HLSMLB 06:14:12.9124

NOTE: This is not to be used for life critical applications .  Please refer to official National Weather Service/NOAA websites and publications
----------613 AM EDT Fri Sep 8 2017
This product covers EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA
**MAJOR HURRICANE IRMA CONTINUES TO MOVE WEST-NORTHWEST TOWARD THE FLORIDA STRAITS**
 NEW INFORMATION ---------------
* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS:     - None
* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS:     - A Storm Surge Watch and Hurricane Watch are in effect for       Indian River, Martin, and St. Lucie     - A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Okeechobee
* STORM INFORMATION:     - About 660 miles southeast of Orlando FL or about 550 miles       southeast of Stuart FL     - 21.7N 73.8W     - Storm Intensity 155 mph     - Movement West-northwest or 285 degrees at 16 mph
SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------
Dangerous Hurricane Irma is forecast to make its approach on the Florida Peninsula this weekend as a powerful Category 4 storm. Irma will move west-northwest through the southern Bahamas and the eastern Florida Straits later today before making a turn to the north-northwest by Saturday evening. The eye or Irma is expected to reach south Florida Sunday morning, and then moving through the eastern Florida peninsula from Sunday evening through early Monday morning. Irma is a very large, and powerful hurricane, and deteriorating weather conditions, including increasing rain and wind, squalls and extremely dangerous seas and surf, will spread northward well out ahead of Irma's center.
It is now very likely that this major hurricane will have significant and potentially life-threatening impacts to the citizens of east central Florida!! Extreme winds are of life-threatening concern and will have the potential for devastating to catastrophic impacts along Irma's track.
Efforts to protect life and property should now be underway! From around Lake Okeechobee to the Treasure coast counties, every effort should be taken to bring hurricane preparations to completion by Saturday, before weather conditions start to deteriorate. Areas farther north from greater Kissimmee-Saint Cloud, Orlando, Sanford, and Lake County eastward to the Space Coast and the greater Daytona Beach area will have about a half of day longer to complete preparations.
If evacuation orders are issued for your area, leave as soon as practical. Irma will be affecting a large number of Floridians and traffic systems may quickly become stressed.
The chance for hurricane force winds and gusts from Irma to extend well inland continues to increase. Additional watches or warnings farther north are likely to be issued later this morning.
Storm surge and flooding rain are also of considerable concern. Several places along the East Central Florida shoreline still have weakened beaches and dunes from Hurricane Matthew last season. Similar values of storm surge flooding 4 to 6 feet above ground are again possible combined with battering waves.
Wind driven water inundation will also be possible in areas adjacent to larger inland lakes, such as Lakes Okeechobee, Kissimmee, and Lake George, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway.
Although Irma will be moving steadily forward, it will produce 7 to 12 inches of rain with locally higher amounts up to 15 inches. Peak rainfall may maximize along the coastal counties near and in vicinity of the track supported by strong onshore wind flow. However, Irma will also interact with a frontal boundary which may increase rainfall totals for inland areas.
Ahead of Irma, surf conditions will become hazardous as large swells promote high surf and increasingly strong rip currents starting today. Beach erosion will ensue, and become progressively worse over the course of the next several high tide cycles throughout the weekend and into Monday.
There is an increasing threat for rain band tornadoes to spread south to north across all of east central Florida beginning late Saturday.
 POTENTIAL IMPACTS -----------------
* WIND: Prepare for life-threatening wind having possible devastating impacts across east central Florida. Potential impacts include:
    - Structural damage to sturdy buildings, some with complete roof       and wall failures. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Damage       greatly accentuated by large airborne projectiles. Locations       may be uninhabitable for weeks or months.     - Numerous large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and       roadway signs blown over.     - Many roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban       or heavily wooded places. Many bridges, causeways, and access       routes impassable.     - Widespread power and communications outages.
* SURGE: Prepare for life-threatening surge having significant impacts in coastal areas. These impacts include:
    - Areas of inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by       waves. Damage to several buildings, mainly near the coast.     - Sections of near-shore escape routes and secondary roads become       weakened or washed out, especially in usually vulnerable low       spots.     - Major beach erosion with heavy surf breaching dunes. Strong and       numerous rip currents.     - Moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, piers, and other       coastal structures. Several small craft broken away from       moorings, especially in unprotected anchorages.
Communities adjacent to Lake Okeechobee, where a Hurricane Warning is now in effect, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway, should take actions now to protect life and property from potential water runup, and the potential for local surge inundation.
 * FLOODING RAIN: Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having possible significant impacts across EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA. Potential impacts include:
    - Areal flooding may prompt several evacuations and rescues.     - Rivers and tributaries may quickly become swollen with swift       currents and overspill their banks in a few places, especially       in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, canals, and       ditches will overflow.     - Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations.       Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid inundation       at low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Some streets and       parking lots take on moving water as storm drains and retention       ponds overflow.
* TORNADOES: Prepare for a tornado event having possible impacts spreading north across east central Florida. Potential impacts include:     - The occurrence of tornadoes can hinder the execution of       emergency plans during tropical events.     - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power       and communications disruptions.     - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys       toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned,       large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees       knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats       pulled from moorings.
 PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS ----------------------------------
* EVACUATIONS: For those under evacuation orders, leave as soon as practical with a destination in mind. Gas up your vehicle well ahead of time. Be sure that you take all essential materials from your emergency supplies kit. Let others know where you are going and when you intend to arrive.
If evacuating the area, stick to prescribed evacuation routes. Look for additional traffic information on roadway smart signs and listen to select radio channels for further travel instructions. Drivers should not use cell phones while operating vehicles.
For those not under evacuation orders, understand that there are inherent risks to evacuation (such as traffic congestion, accidents, and driving in bad weather), so evacuate only if necessary. Help keep roadways open for those that are under evacuation orders.
 * OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION: ----------------------------------
Now is the time to check your emergency plan and take necessary actions to secure your home or business. Efforts should be well underway to protect life and property!! Ensure that your Emergency Supplies Kit is stocked and ready.
If you live in a place that is particularly vulnerable to high wind, such as a mobile home, an upper floor of a high rise building, or on a boat, plan to move to safe shelter. Take enough supplies for you and your family for several days.
If you live in a place particularly vulnerable to flooding, such as near the ocean, large inland lake, in low lying or poor drainage areas, or near an already swollen river or creek, plan to move to safe shelter on higher ground
Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders that are issued. Do not needlessly jeopardize your life or the lives of others.
When securing your property, outside preparations should be conducted as soon as possible before conditions deteriorate. The onset of strong gusty winds and heavy rain can cause certain preparedness activities to become unsafe.
Be sure to let friends and other family members know of your intentions and whereabouts for surviving the storm. For emergency purposes, have someone located away from the threatened area serve as your point of contact. Share vital contact information with others. Keep cell phones handy and well charged.
Visitors to the area should become familiar with nearby surroundings. If you are a visitor, know the name of the county in which you are located and where it is relative to current watches and warnings. If staying at a hotel, ask the management staff about their onsite disaster plan. Listen for evacuation orders, especially pertaining to area visitors.
Closely monitor NOAA Weather Radio or other local news outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the forecast.
 * ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
- For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov - For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org - For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org
NEXT UPDATE -----------
The next local statement will be issued by the National Weather Service in Melbourne FL around 12 noon, or sooner if conditions warrant.
$$
Cristaldi
---------- tags: weatherwire,weather,update