Hurricane Irma Evening Update
The ECMWF model continues to track Irma a little further west than most of the other solutions. It brings the center onto land near Marco Island (south of Naples) Sunday. The NHC adjusted their official track forecast a bit to the west for this reason (both pictured below) and is the most likely track that will actually occur. Irma has sustained wind up to 155 mph (2 mph shy of Cat 5 strength). The NHC is forecasting the storm to remain at about the same strength (with some fluctuations) until Saturday night, when they have it strengthening back to Cat 5 with wind up to 160 mph. Here is the latest NHC public advisory.
ECMWF Forecast 2 PM, Sunday:
Current NHC Forecast:
Notice on the graphic above that a Hurricane Warning is in effect along most of the coastline of the southern half of Florida, with watches extending further north. The danger of the storm surge cannot be overstated. This is what causes most of the casualties in a hurricane. Latest storm surge warnings are posted here. If you stay in a storm surge area as this storm comes in, you may or may not survive. Anyone in an area of south Florida that has been advised to evacuate should do so asap if they haven't already.
Population at risk of storm surge broken down by state and storm strength: