HOLT, Fla., Sept. 9, 2017, 9 a.m.–The National Hurricane Center expects Hurricane Irma to regain strength after its interaction with Cuba.
Although Irma has weakened some as it interacts with Cuba, the NHC expects the hurricane to re-intensify as it goes over the warmer waters of the Florida straits before making landfall.
The NHC’s forecast track follows the previous forecast in calling for Irma to move along the coast of Cuba, over the lower Florida Keys before nearing nearing Florida’s west coast.
The storm is expected to be near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.
Irma is still expected to be a dangerous hurricane as it approaches the Florida Keys and
the west coast of Florida. After that time, movement over land and strong wind shear should cause steady weakening.
Central panhandle area
Irma is expected to have a significant impact across a large portion of the Florida Big Bend area and southern Georgia with high winds and rain, according to the NWS.
The strongest winds are likely to be east of the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers.
Winds of at least 40 mph may begin as early as Sunday evening, but the worst conditions in Florida and south Georgia will be Monday with wind gusts to 75 mph possible.
Conditions will gradually improve Monday night as a weakening tropical storm Irma moves northward into central Georgia.
Holt and surrounding communities
The western peninsula can expect winds up to 40 mph with higher gusts and a rain chance of 40 percent, according to the National Weather Service.