Hurricane Irma is set to pound the east Florida coast in the next few days before turning inland. The Category 5 hurricane is currently predicted to weaken and turn west at the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The hurricane is about five days away from Virginia, according to Mike Rusnak, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Va. As the hurricane moves closer to the U.S. mainland, Rusnak said the official National Weather Service track for the storm hasn’t changed much in the past 24 hours.
Rusnak said areas from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach should expect rain and tropical storm-force wind gusts of over 40 miles per hour starting Monday night.
The storm is anticipated to continue to move westward, sparing Hampton Roads from hurricane force winds, Rusnak said.
“At least right now, the official track is for it to go up over the mountains,” Rusnak said Thursday morning. “We will get rain. We will get wind, but it doesn’t look to be the devastating type of weather.”
The hurricane’s wind speeds were nearly 175 miles per hour as it moved toward the Caribbean island of Hispaniola Thursday afternoon, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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