Hurricane Irma: Much of Florida still exposed to storm’s ‘dirty side’

Published by: 0

the northeast quadrant of the storm is where the most intense rain band activity with the strongest winds tend to occur.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Embed

Share

Video uploaded Sept. 9, 2017, by Rick Neale.

Embed

Share

Many people flocked to the beach Saturday afternoon to take a look at the churning ocean Video by John A. Torres

Embed

Share

Sights, sounds, and Scully the Beagle as Brevard County waits for Hurricane Irma. Video by Tim Shortt. Posted 9/9/17

Embed

Share

Brevard Zoo was busy preparing for Hurricane Irma. That meant getting animals safe, securing equipment and more. Video posted Sept. 8, 2017, by Rick Neale, FLORIDA TODAY.

Embed

Share

FLORIDA TODAY’s Isadora Rangel gets a Hurricane Irma update with chief hurricane specialist Michael Brennan at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Facebook Live video posted Sept. 8, 2017.

Embed

Share

Carrie and Ron Wilcox of west Melbourne, FL are confident they will make it through Hurricane Irma. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted September. 9, 2017

GOES-16 captured this geocolor image of Hurricane Irma passing the eastern end of Cuba at about 8 a.m. (eastern) on September 8, 2017(Photo: NOAA)

Though Hurricane Irma’s projected path tracks along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Brevard County is positioned directly in the storm’s northeast quadrant — boosting the threats of squalls, heavy rains and potential tornadoes.

“We don’t want people’s guards to be down at this point. This is the dirty side of the storm, as we like to call it,” Will Ulrich, a National Weather Service meteorologist at the Melbourne station, said Friday morning.

“And it is where the most intense rain band activity can occur. It’s where the strongest winds tend to be associated with a hurricane. So while we may not be impacted by the core, or the center, of Hurricane Irma, we still are going to face several threats from the system — one of which is the possibility of tornadoes,” Ulrich said.

“Research tells us that tornado probabilities are at their highest when you are in the northeastern quadrant of the storm. And that’s unfortunately where we’re going to find ourselves here in the Space Coast for the next 24 to 48 hours,” he said.

[Hurricane Irma: Which stores are still open in Brevard? Here’s what we know]

[Hurricane Irma ‘very dangerous’ for Florida Keys and West Coast]

As Irma starts to turn northward, Ulrich squalls and heavy rain bands will move into Brevard. 

“Those initial rain bands from Irma are expected to move north over the Space Coast overnight. And it’s those rain bands that we’re particularly concerned for a threat for isolated tornadoes,” Ulrich said.

“The conditions that favor tornadoes will really increase before sunrise on Sunday, and that threat will continue through much of the day on Sunday,” he said.

Finishing up preparations for Hurricane #Irma here in Melbourne. Sustained TS winds will likely begin Sunday morning, finish prep by tonight pic.twitter.com/L2kdcgkDkW

The NWS Melbourne forecast:

Saturday night: Chance of showers and possible thunderstorms is 100 percent. New rainfall could total 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. Windy conditions will prevail, with an east-northeast wind around 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph.

Sunday: Tropical storm conditions, with hurricane conditions possible. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent, and some thunderstorms could produce heavy rainfall. Two to 3 inches of rain may fall. High temperature near 85.

More: Hurricane Irma: Projected path, intensity and storm surge

More: Hurricane Irma update: Still a Cat 3 with max sustained winds at 120 mph

More: Hurricane Irma track update, radar loops

Sunday night: Tropical storm conditions, with hurricane conditions possible. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent, and some storms could produce heavy rainfall. 

Monday: Tropical storm conditions possible. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent, with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy skies should prevail, with a high near 86.

Accordingly, Ulrich advised Brevard residents to wrap up hurricane preparation, such as shutter installation, by Saturday before the weather deteriorates.

Contact Neale at 321-242-3638, rneale@floridatoday.com or follow @RickNeale1 on Twitter.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.