While the rest of the country is looking on in shock and awe at the sheer size and strength of Hurricane Irma, many Floridians – who have ridden out dozens of hurricanes before – still seem fairly unconcerned about the storm.
However, noted meteorologist and hurricane expert Bryan Norcross has issued a stern warning: Irma is not just another hurricane.
Friday morning, Norcross posted a lengthy update to his Facebook page cautioning that Irma “is not like any hurricane we have experienced in modern times.” Further, he says that – like Hurricane Harvey – Irma will be a “long-duration event” and those planning to ride out the storm must be prepared “to stay in your safe spot for 12 hours or longer, depending on where the strongest winds track.”
“Beyond [that],” he writes, “the winds will blow hard for the best part of two days. It will affect the entire state, except the far western panhandle.”
“What you do today can make a difference in the rest of your life,” he warns. Read the entire post below.
Friday morning update: Extraordinary HURRICANE IRMA continues on track. It will move into the Florida Straits just…
Norcross was the chief meteorologist at Miami NBC-affiliate WTV-J when Category 5 Hurricane Andrew decimated South Florida in 1992. Andrew was the most destructive hurricane to ever hit Florida, and the costliest hurricane to make landfall anywhere in the United States until Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
But Andrew’s size is nothing compared to Irma:
I just built this… to scale…
Look at the size comparison between Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Irma! Wow…
But Irma’s size isn’t the only thing that makes it dangerous. Whereas Andrew moved directly across the bottom half of Florida from east to west, Irma is expected to rake up the entire length of the state. As Norcross cautions, “I expect all of Florida except the Panhandle to eventually be under hurricane warnings.”
Norcross left his Miami Beach home on Tuesday and flew to the Weather Channel’s Atlanta studio to provide around-the-clock Irma coverage. On Wednesday he said, “This is the kind of storm that I always pictured when I read the history books about the great Florida hurricanes of the past, and imagined how they would impact the modern state.”
If you’re in Florida, please take the time to read Norcross’s full post, which includes key messages from the National Hurricane Center, a to-do list, and a shopping list issued by Brevard County. As always, stay smart and safe.
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