Hurricane Irma is currently a Category 5 storm and is over the U.S. Virgin Islands, moving toward the Dominican Republic.
Irma has affected several Caribbean Islands including Antigua, St. Maarten, and St. Croix. The storm is expected to reach the Dominican Republic later tonight. The biggest impact will occur in the early morning hours on Thursday and will continue into Friday. The north coasts of the Dominican Republic are most likely to experience severe weather from Irma.
The Dominican Republic is currently experiencing some rain with increased winds. The sky is looking very ominous ahead of the major brunt of Irma. Take a look at the photo and video below to see current conditions.
According to The Weather Channel, “a hurricane watch is now in effect for the north coast of the Dominican Republic, from Cabo Engano to the Haiti border, Haiti from the border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas.”
Irma hasn’t weakened over the past 24 hours and she is expected to reach the Dominican Republic as a Category 5. This means that she will bring sustained winds of over 157 mph (her current wind speed is 185 mph). Below is a map of the days/times that winds are expected to arrive.
Below is a map of probable wind speeds. The north coast of the Dominican Republic is in the deep red color, which has a higher chance of seeing severe winds. On the mainland, the probability goes down significantly.
Several inches of rain are expected to fall in addition to the severe winds. Some areas could see upwards of 10 inches of rain.
“Officials in the Dominican Republic said they were prepared for any outcome. ‘From this moment on, we are in a state of continuous monitoring,’ said Administrative Minister to the President Jose Ramon Peralta,” according to Reuters.