The outer bands and tropical wind gusts have begun hitting Southern Florida and the Keys, and that is with the eye of Irma still a couple hundred miles away. This storm is just awesome in it’s size, and awful in it’s power. Reports are readily available in the news and on line and if you are staying in an area designated as an A-level evacuation zone and are not paying attention: You are in serious peril. As was requested in Houston, please write your social security number and name in sharpie on your arm so your body will be easier to identify.
I’m sorry that seems so cold and flippant. People, including me, make bad choices sometimes. Riding this storm out is a really bad choice. Staying at home in that zone means you are trusting your house to endure hours of 100 mph winds and debris battering it while it possibly sits in as much as 12 feet of water. Once the roof blows off, the walls will fall apart. Hiding in the bathtub won’t help because it cannot float. Safe shelters are available and you should be at one.
The high pressure system that was holding the storm on it’s path seemed to strengthen late yesterday and has caused the storm to delay it’s turn to the north. That means the center of Irma will now turn after it passes the Southern tip of Florida and head up the East coast, similar to the path I had predicted (aka: guessed) a week ago. Unlike my expectations, it will not cross the state around St Pete and head east. The storm will hit land somewhere between Ft Myers and St Pete and then continue up the coast to the panhandle. Georgia will take a beating from the rain and by Tuesday it settles and stalls near Nashville. Rain rain rain.
But, not so much for Fauquier County. While this track to Nashville is happening, a high pressure cold front is dropping down over us which will actually steer the storm remnants farther west instead of heading up the Ohio valley. Fauquier will see moderate rain on Monday through Wednesday but by Thursday the 14th we will enjoy the September-like weather and clear skies or only partial clouds. Apple picking time!