Hurricane Irma is expected to move north across the southeast United States into the Tennessee Valley early next week, and it could bring rain and wind gusts, and cause some rivers to rise, according to the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tennessee.
Hurricane Irma, which has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm, could hit the Florida Keys by late Saturday and heavily populated areas of South Florida on Sunday morning. The deadly hurricane pushed through the Bahamas and onto Cuba on Friday, and it has already caused destruction across the Caribbean.
Current forecasts show Hurricane Irma traveling up the center of the Florida peninsula before hitting Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, among other states.
The National Weather Service in Morristown said the exact path across the Tennessee Valley is uncertain, which will affect the location and timing of the expected impacts.
The current forecast calls for expected impacts in the region starting Monday afternoon and continuing into Wednesday.
The NWS said the main threats across the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians are:
- Rainfall—From 1.5 to four inches, with locally heavier rainfall and the potential for localized flash flooding.
- Wind Gusts—Gusts of more than 45 mph possible, especially across the higher elevations. Trees and power lines possibly down, particularly for higher elevations.
- River Rises—Rivers to watch in Tennessee will be the Nolichucky (Greene County), Pigeon, and French Broad (Newport) due to heavier rains that are expected upstream in western North Carolina.
Hurricane Irma could be a tropical storm with wind speeds between 39 and 73 mph in Georgia, and it could weaken to a tropical depression, with wind speeds less than 39 mph, in Tennessee, according to the National Hurricane Center.
See the National Weather Service in Morristown here.
See the National Hurricane Center here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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