Irma's Predicted March Through Florida Is Unusual, Dangerous

Hurricane predicted to go straight up the state to the Georgia border
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2017 5:03 PM CDT
Irma's Predicted March Through Florida Is Unusual, Dangerous
Todd Tarczynski walks outside to join Harris Safra and William Brown at Xavier's Cigar Lounge in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Officials ordered evacuations for at least 1.4 million people as Hurricane Irma spun toward a path that forecasters have long feared: Right through the heart of the peninsula.   (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Current predictions show Hurricane Irma moving straight up Florida from the Keys to the Georgia border "like a giant buzzsaw," USA Today reports. And that's not normal and could be devastating. Historically, hurricanes have approached the state at an angle. And the two recorded Category 5 hurricanes to have hit Florida went through only part of the state. But according to ABC News, Irma is expected to make landfall near Miami between 5am and 7am Sunday with winds between 140mph and 145mph. From there it's expected to make its way up the state, losing steam as it goes. By the time it hits Georgia, it should have weakened to a tropical storm.

USA Today was only able to find two hurricanes—both Category 4—that moved up through Florida as Irma is predicted to do. The "Homestead hurricane" in 1945 and Hurricane King in 1950. Those hurricanes killed four people each, but the population of the Miami metro area at the time was about one-twelfth what it is today. CNN notes the exact path of Hurricane Irma could still shift before it makes landfall. Meanwhile, researchers tell the AP Friday had the most hurricane activity in the history of the Atlantic region. With Irma and Hurricane Jose both Category 4 and Hurricane Katia on its way to Category 3, Friday had an accumulated Cyclone Energy of 16. That beats the old record of 14.3 set in 1961. The other two days in the top four were Thursday and Wednesday. (More Hurricane Irma stories.)

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