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5:00am Hurricane Irma Update St Maarten the Caribbean

5:00am Hurricane Irma Update
AT 5:00 AM…THE EYE OF HURRICANE IRMA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 17.9 NORTH…LONGITUDE 62.6 WEST OR ABOUT 35 MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF ST. MAARTEN.
IRMA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NORTHWEST NEAR 16 MPH (26 KM/H). THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
ON THE FORECAST TRACK, THE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CORE OF IRMA WILL MOVE EXTREMELY CLOSE OR OVER ST. MAARTEN WITHIN THE NEXT FEW HOURS. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ARE BEING FELT ON THE ISLAND. A GUST OF 81 MPH WAS RECORDED EARLIER AT THE AIRPORT.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINNED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 185 MPH…295 KM/H…WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
IRMA IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE.
SOME FLUCTIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO, BUT IRMA IS FORECAST TO REMAIN A POWERFUL CATEGORY 4 OR 5 HURRICANE.
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 50 MILES (85KM) FROM THE CENTER AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND UP TO 175 MILES (280KM) FROM THE CENTER.
THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 914 MB…26.99 INCHES. HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND AND SEA
WIND:
Hurricane conditions are expected in St. Maarten by later TONIGHT into tomorrow, however Tropical storm force winds are expected with the next few hours.
RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8-12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 18 inches across the Leeward Islands.
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels along the coasts of St Maarten. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
SEAS: Swells generated by Irma will affect the local area for the next several days. These swells are likely to cause life threatening surf and rip current conditions especially on the northern and eastern shores. Mariners are advised to stay in port in order to safeguard life and property.
THE METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR HURRICANE IRMA AND ISSUE SPECIAL WEATHER BULLETINS.

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