Hurricane watches, warnings issued for parts of Tampa Bay

- A hurricane warning has been issued for most of the Tampa Bay area, and a hurricane watch is in effect for much of the rest of Central Florida.

As of Friday evening, the hurricane warning extended from Sebastian Inlet on the east coast all the way around South Florida to Anna Maria Island on the west coast.  The hurricane watch extended up the west coast to the Suwanee River.

A hurricane watch means winds of at least 74 mph or greater are possible in the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. A warning means hurricane conditions 

In addition, a storm surge watch is in effect for the west coast and Tampa Bay.  The Bay Area could see a storm tide 6 feet higher than normal.

More than a million people have been ordered to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma, which is still taking aim toward Florida.  As of Friday evening, Irma remained a strong Category 4 hurricane, with wind speeds of 155 mph. It can easily intensify if it remains in warm waters, but if it travels closer to Cuba it could weaken it.

FOX 13 chief meteorologist expects that most of Central Florida will experience hurricane conditions Sunday into Monday.

LINK: Track Hurricane Irma on

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