Category 3 Irma's winds remain at 125 mph - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Category 3 Irma's winds remain at 125 mph

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At 4 p.m. Saturday, the National Hurricane Center says Irma remains a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds.

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Irma was briefly at a Category 5 strength late Friday, but winds have been decreasing.

The track has the eye over Fort Myers Sunday at 8 p.m. and Tampa around 6 a.m. Monday. 

Other than a small piece of rural western Okeechobee County, the WPTV-viewing area is completely out of the cone. However, winds on Sunday could still approach 70 mph to 80 mph with 10 to 15 inches of rain by Monday.

"I'm hearing that people are taking down shutters. I think they will regret it. These feeder bands pack a punch, and it will be very unsettling for some. Tropical storm winds are now 195 mph from the center," Storm Team 5 Chief Meteorologist Steve Weagle said.



The storm is forecast to restrengthen once it moves away from Cuba, and expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.

The hurricane is still moving about 9 mph (19.3 kph) toward the west.

Hurricane Warnings are northward along the Florida Peninsula. 

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of the storm is expected to hit southwest Florida and Tampa sometime Sunday, but the entire state will feel the storm’s effects.

Hurricane Center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said Saturday that while Miami won’t get the core of Irma it will still get life-threatening hurricane conditions.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for inland Palm Beach County from Saturday evening through Monday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).

The minimum central pressure reported by a reconnaissance plane was 938 mb (27.70 inches).

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 hurricane, about 95 miles (155 kilometers) east-northeast of The Northern Leeward Islands, moving toward the islands at 14 mph (23 kph) with winds reaching 145 mph.

In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia made landfall late Friday north of Tecolutla, Mexico and weakened to a tropical storm. By early Saturday morning it was 135 miles (217 kilometers) south of Tampico, Mexico, moving sluggishly at only 2 mph (3.2 kph) near the Sierra Madre Mountains with maximum winds of 40 mph (64.4 kph). It was expected to weaken further throughout the day.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:* Volusia/Brevard County Line southward around the Florida peninsula to Chassahowitzka * Florida Keys * Tampa Bay A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:* North of the Volusia/Brevard County Line to the Flagler/Volusia County line * North of Chassahowitzka to Suwannee River A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:* Flagler/Volusia County Line southward around the Florida peninsula to Chassahowitzka * Florida Keys * Lake Okeechobee * Florida Bay * Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, and Matanzas * Northwestern Bahamas A Hurricane Watch is in effect for: * North of the Flagler/Volusia County Line to Fernandina Beach * North and west of Chassahowitzka to Indian Pass * Cuban provinces of Holguin and Las Tunas A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:* Cuban provinces of Holguin, Las Tunas, La Habana, and Ciudad de la HabanaA Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for: * North of Fernandina Beach to Altamaha Sound A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials. A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

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Associated Press 2017

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