Hurricane Irma continues to hold as a powerful Category Two storm as it pushes westward in the central Atlantic.
- Hurricane Irma continues to move west across Atlantic
- Irma fluctuating between Cat 2 and Cat 3
- FULL COVERAGE: Storm Season 2017: Forecast models, links and resources
The 11 p.m. advisory has Irma with winds of 110 mph, with higher gusts.
Irma continues to move to the west at 14 mph.
The storm is still in the open waters of the Atlantic and is over 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.
Hurricane force winds extend outward to about 25 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center.
It still has a lot of open water to cross which will be a favorable environment to maintain its intensity, although there may be some fluctuations in strength from time to time as it encounters occasional dry air and/or wind shear.
Irma is expected to continue to move west-southwest over the weekend, then begin to curve northwest early next week.
The official forecast cone includes parts of the Lesser Antilles, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and northern sections of the Dominican Republic.
After potentially impacting the Lesser Antilles, there is high uncertainty as to where Irma will go.
There is still a large spread in the models of where this storm could be past day five, which makes a significant difference in the forecast.
Some of these models curve it north and keep it out to sea, while others take it toward Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos.
Irma is expected to be a major hurricane when it approaches the Lesser Antilles which will result in rough surf and strong rip currents. Irma could also cause dangerous winds, storm surge, and significant rainfall impacts. It is still too early to specify where and when those hazards could occur.
In addition, it is far too soon to tell what direct impacts Irma could have on the United States and the Bahamas.
Interests in the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic should pay close attention to future forecasts, as watches may need to be issued early next week.
The peak of the hurricane season is Sept. 10, and the Atlantic basin looks a bit busy over the next couple of weeks.
This is a good time to go over your hurricane preparedness checklist. Make sure you have your supply kit, a plan to evacuate if you're in an evacuation zone and asked to leave, and check with your insurance company regarding hurricane and flood coverage.
There is no need to be scared, it is always good to be prepared.
The next complete advisory will be issued at 11:00 p.m.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30.