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First Alert Weather: Irma becomes Cat. 5 one year ago today - wind gusts 220 mph

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1 year Irma 9/5/2017

Irma at 8 a.m. advisory 9/5/2017

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - A special report came down at 7:45 a.m. on Sept. 5th 2017, from the National Hurricane Center. 

It read "hurricane Irma had grown into a monster storm with winds measuring 175 mph and gusts as high as 220 making it an extremely dangerous Cat. 5 storm".  At that time it was 280 miles ESE of Barbuda an Island which would soon take the full force of this incredible storm.

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Tweet from ABC NEWS

Post from ABC NEWS as Irma wrecks havoc on the N. Leeward Islands

Irma would stay a category 5 storm for a whopping 3 straight days and a major hurricane for over 8.

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Hurricane Irma 2017

Satellite image of Hurricane Irma. 

By 2 a.m. on the 6th of Sept. 2017 the eye moved right over the top of Barbuda destroying almost everything in its path.

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Damage to Barbuda

Total destruction to the Island of Barbuda

The forecast path at the time from many models showed it continuing on that westerly course and then heading right into Florida in about 5 days.

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Forecast Model Irma

Ensemble forecast model showing Irma heading right toward Florida

Almost every reliable model had it impacting Florida one way or another at that time.  People in Florida were starting to worry, with good cause.  The storm would eventually knock out power to 60% of the homes in Sunshine State.

More to follow......

Bob Harrigan

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