Hurricane Irma About 140 Miles Away From Key West
Major hurricane force winds are expected over the Florida Keys at daybreak as Irma moves closer.
At 2 p.m., the Category 3 hurricane was about 145 miles southeast of Key West with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour.
Irma is moving just north of due west along the north coast of Cuba at near 9 mph (15 km/h).
A northwest motion is expected to begin later today with a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday. On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba this afternoon, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The hurricane is expected to move along or near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.
Irma is forecast to restrengthen once it moves away from Cuba, and Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida. A NOAA plane is airborne en route to investigate Irma.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.