As of Friday afternoon, Hurricane Irma is 350 miles away from southern Florida.
It’s expected to hit southern Florida as a major hurricane late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The storm will move onshore during high tide, which is the worst case scenario.
High tide in Miami is 12:18 a.m. Sunday and in Naples it is at 3:01 a.m. The storm surge is expected to be 7 to 10 feet (and possibly even 12 feet), which could inundate many low level houses.
Irma’s wrath won’t just affect the coastal cities. Many areas including inland areas of Florida could see up to a foot of rain with some localized higher amounts.
The latest models indicate that this will move on shore with maximum sustained winds around 150 miles per hour. There will be higher gusts as well.
It’s important to keep in mind that Irma is a huge storm system, with winds of tropical-storm force extending up to 185 miles from the center. The entire state could see at least hurricane-force gusts of 74 mph and above.
Irma won’t just impact Florida. The governors of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have also declared a state of emergency. Georgia’s Gov. Nathan Deal ordered evacuations for coastal areas east of Interstate 95, including Savannah, starting Saturday.
This is a very dangerous situation, and it could be catastrophic for portions of Florida. If you have friends or family in Florida, especially southern Florida, please urge them to evacuate now.
CBS4 meteorologist Lindsay Riley contributed to this report.