What can we expect from Hurricane Irma?

- Hurricane Irma will slide up the west coast of Florida this weekend, bringing hurricane-force winds to most of the Tampa Bay area. 

While the track shifted west again this morning, the big picture is pretty much unchanged. Don't mess around with this storm. Irma is a large and dangerous hurricane. The weather will deteriorate Sunday, with Sunday night being the time of peak storm intensity around central Florida.

The long-awaited turn to the northwest should commence later today. That shift will FINALLY provide some answers on the exact path Irma will take as it approaches Florida. The angle is the key, especially when it comes to storm surge flooding. The worst storm surge flooding always occurs to the right of point of landfall. So, the landfall location is critical.

The devil really is in the details. Because of the storm’s position southeast of the state, any tiny shift in track now ends up potentially being a bigger shift later as Irma nears the state. We don't want to see the storm stay over water longer resulting in stronger hurricane making landfall closer to Tampa Bay.

LINK: Track Irma on MyFoxHurricane.com

Here’s a look at what the Tampa Bay area can expect from the storm, based on the Saturday morning forecast:

NORTH (PASCO, HERNANDO, CITRUS):
- Wind gusts up to 80 mph
- Tornado threat
- 4- to 6-foot storm surge
- 10 inches of rain or more

CENTRAL (HILLSBOROUGH & PINELLAS):
- Wind gusts up to 100 mph
- Tornado threat
- 5- to 8-foot storm surge
- 10 inches of rain or more

SOUTH (MANATEE & SARASOTA):
- Wind gusts up to 100 mph
- Tornado threat
- 6- to 10-foot storm surge
- 10 inches of rain or more

EAST (POLK, HIGHLANDS, HARDEE, DESOTO):
- Wind gusts up to 100 mph
- Tornado threat
- 10 inches of rain or more

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