COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Storm Team 9 is continuing to track Tropical Storm Irma in the Chattahoochee Valley.
Storm Team 9 will be giving live updates every half hour Monday evening. Mobile users, click here to watch our live coverage when we are on the air.
Tuesday 8 a.m. ET update:
We're waving bye at Irma. The storm has lost all of it's tropical characteristics but has left a path of damage to clean up. The system will bring rain and isolated flooding across portions of TN, KY and other portions of the Ohio River Valley. For the Chattahoochee Valley breezy, cloudy and cool conditions are expected today. Some sunshine is possible with rain chances staying in the 10-20% through the day.
Monday 11 p.m. ET update:
Irma has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression and all Tropical Storm Warnings in the Chattahoochee Valley have been cancelled. Winds might be enough to damage weakened tree, any additional high winds are not likely.
Monday 9:15 p.m. ET update:
Irma's center continues to move through the Chattahoochee Valley, and that may bring some additional gusty winds as it moves through – perhaps up to 25 mph.
While we have already seen the windiest of the weather that we will see, it wouldn't take much more in the way of wind to knock down some additional trees, so we still urge folks to use caution tonight if they are out and about for any reason– and early Tuesday, for that matter.
The heaviest rain from Irma is offset to the north of the center, so flooding will likely not be an issue Monday night with the heaviest rain ending in the next couple of hours for our northern counties.
Monday 8:30 p.m. ET update:
Irma is holding on to Tropical Storm status with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and is moving NNW at 16 mph. The eye of the storm is now just to the east of Weston in Webster County. Rain will be expected throughout the night and will be cleaing from southeast to northwest.
Monday 5 p.m. ET update:
The eye of Tropical Storm Irma is near Albany, Georgia and is moving northwest at 17 mph with maximum sustained winds at 50 mph. The projected path takes it right up the Chattahoochee Valley Monday evening as it continues to weaken.
The entire Chattahoochee Valley area is under a Tropical Storm of Warning through Thursday. There is also a Flash Flood Watch for all of the Georgia counties in the WTVM viewing area until 8 a.m. ET Tuesday.
The impacts for Monday night are wind gusts 25-45 mph and rain, depending on your location, 2-5''.
Monday 2:15 p.m. ET update:
Monday 11:30 a.m. ET update:
Sustained winds of 20-40 mph with wind gusts of 40-60 mph are expected. Rainfall totals of 3-7" are expected which may cause localized flooding. Tornadoes are not expected in our coverage area. Irma staying over land last night has been a fantastic thing for us in helping to weaken the storm. However, know that in the bands of rain that move through, there will be isolated strong wind gusts that will be difficult to predict, and these might happen farther away from just the center of the storm. We don't know which trees will fall down. We don't know if you will lose power or how long it will be out.
Monday 7:45 a.m. ET update:
Irma is now a Tropical Storm with sustained winds of 70 mph.
Monday, 5:20 a.m. ET update:
Irma's current track still takes it through the Valley as a tropical storm. It has lost a lot of strength as it's tracked over Florida. Sustained winds are now at 75 mph as a category 1 hurricane. Winds will continue to spread into the Valley through the morning.
**There is still a high wind threat for us and a minor flooding threat.**
Monday, 4:30 a.m. ET update:
We continue to track Irma this morning with rain spreading across the entire viewing area.
Current on Irma: losing strength, sustained winds 85 mph, gusts 120. Between Gainesville and Tampa.
Conditions in the Valley: Light rain right now with winds of 5-20 mph and gusts 20-30 in our far SE GA counties. We'll have much more on News Leader 9 morning as we get through Irma together! Tune in.
Sunday, 11:30 p.m. ET update:
Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET update:
Sunday, 4:45 p.m. ET update:
Irma has made landfall twice today. The first, at Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys at 9:10 am EDT. The second, on Marco Island this afternoon, with reported winds of 130 mph.
We've seen an increase in cloud cover, rain showers, and wind speeds throughout the afternoon as we await the arrival of Irma here in the Valley. As Hurricane Irma continues moving up the west coast of Florida, rain coverage and wind gusts will pick up tonight and into Monday morning. We can expect wind gusts from 30-40 mph tonight/early Monday with gusts up to 70 mph expected during the peak impact of this storm -- 2 PM to midnight -- locally. Sustained winds of 40-60 mph and higher gusts will be enough to knock down trees and cause power outages.
In addition to the gusty winds, we are expecting to receive 2-6 inches of rainfall from Irma, which may cause some localized flooding. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out, but the greater tornado threat remains off to our east. Irma's influence will move out of here Tuesday, with an isolated rain chance taking us through the rest of the week. Stay prepared and stay weather-alert!
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET update:
Sunday, 7:15 a.m. ET update:
The eye of Hurricane Irma is approaching the Florida Keys this morning as a Category 4 storm. The latest track from the National Hurricane Center continues a slight western trend, with Irma hugging the west coast of Florida before crossing into Georgia Monday. Irma should weaken into a tropical storm by the time it makes it to our area, but major impacts are still expected. Sustained winds of 40-60 mph with wind gusts 70+ mph are possible Monday, 2-6 inches of rainfall is expected, and an isolated tornado threat cannot be ruled out. The greater tornado threat, however, looks to remain off to our east -- farther away from the center of the storm.
Saturday, 5:00 p.m. ET update:
The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center hasn't changed much from this morning. Irma is currently a Category 3 storm (weakened due to time over Cuba) but is expected to restrengthen before impacting Florida Sunday. Time spent over the Florida peninsula will weaken Irma substantially (most likely into a tropical storm) before reaching the Valley Monday. Impacts locally still expected Monday morning through Tuesday morning -- strong wind gusts, heavy rain, isolated tornado threat.
Saturday, 2:00 p.m. update:
Saturday, 11:00 a.m. ET update:
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Irma is a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 125 mph. Its time over Cuba weakened the storm, but Irma is expected to restrengthen into a Category 4 before making landfall over southwest Florida Sunday. Impacts to the Chattahoochee Valley remain the same.
Saturday, 8:15 a.m. ET:
As of this morning, Irma is a Category 4 storm centered over Cuba with sustained winds of 130 mph. The latest track continues the westward trend we've seen over the past day or two, with the path taking it up the western coast of Florida beginning Sunday morning. Irma should weaken from a major hurricane to a tropical storm before it reaches the Valley. The main impacts of Irma will be felt locally between 8 am Monday through 8 am Tuesday.
These impacts include heavy rainfall, gusty winds (50-70 mph gusts), and an isolated tornado threat. Now is the time to prepare – not panic – ahead of Irma's arrival. Secure any outdoor items, remove dead limbs from your yard, and charge your electronic devices in the case of power outages.
Friday, 11:30 p.m. ET update:
With the westward track trend continuing:
- Risk of stronger winds move west - 40-60 mph sustained with gusts to 70 mph+
- Isolated tornado threat is introduced in some of our eastern counties
Future trends will have to be monitored.. questions that MUST be answered before we know what happens here:
1) How much wind shear will be available to weaken the storm?
2) How long will it end up staying over the water?
3) Does the track shift back west again? back to the east?
4) Does the speed of the storm change? Slow down? Speed up?
The threat for more downed trees and power outages are increasing a bit. Still not on Opal-levels across the area, but future trends will be monitored carefully with the track. What do you need to do? Same things we've already said - prepare for power outages, secure outdoor items that may blow away. If you have large trees (or dead trees) around your house or mobile home, monitor future forecasts carefully if you feel they would be prone to falling. Meteorologist Mallory Schnell is going to take care of you starting at 7 AM ET with the latest, so please join her then! We're going to get through this just fine - let's hope for some factors to come along to help lessen our impacts around here
Friday, 5:30 p.m. ET update:
There hasn't been a major shift in the track for our coverage area with Irma expected to be a tropical storm as it moves through the Peach State. Winds will range from 50-70 mph at times in our eastern counties which will be closer to the center (see attached image) to 30-50 mph for most everywhere else. Rainfall totals could range from 1 to 5 inches depending on where you are, so flooding concerns are definitely possible in those normal trouble spots. It's important to remember that Irma should not be on the level of Hurricane Opal back in 1995 with the wind threat, nor like Harvey or Alberto (1994) with the flood threat. Power outages are the primary concern as trees and limbs could come down in spots.
Friday, 12:25 p.m. update:
The track hasn't changed much so we've updated our forecast accordingly as we like the consistency over the past few runs. The farther east you are in the Valley the higher chance you'll see 50-70 mph wind gusts and minor flooding problems. All WTVM viewers should be vigilant going into this weekend and next week. The worst impacts will be felt from 11 a.m. Monday - 4 a.m. Tuesday. It's still possible to see big changes so please stay tuned!
Friday, 10 a.m. update:
We're going to see a nice, quiet day around the Valley with sunshine and highs in the 80s. Saturday will be similar with clouds beginning to move in on Sunday ahead of Hurricane Irma. We could also see a passing shower on Sunday, too.
The track continues to take Irma up through Florida and eventually moving northwest through Georgia. As it gets closer to the Chattahoochee Valley it's expected to weaken to a tropical storm.
But this means winds could gust from 35-70 mph at times. The storm is so large though that winds will steadily pick up as early as Saturday but the main impacts here in the Valley would come on Monday in the form of wind and rain. While some flooding is possible, most rainfall amounts will not be 'extreme' with totals highest in our eastern GA counties at 2-4 inches.
Winds, however, may gust high enough to knock down trees and limbs and cause scattered power outages. The best thing to do is prepare this weekend by securing outdoor, loose items, taking down dead limbs or trees, charging devices and having a flashlight and batteries on hand. Irma's impacts will be felt into Tuesday morning before it moves well to our north, and the weather turns pretty nice for the middle and end of next week with a warming trend in our future.
I caution you that things can and will change with Irma in the coming days, including the track and impacts. Please stay tuned for the latest!
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