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What is a hurricane watch? (Hurricane Irma)

HA hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible, the hurricane center said. They are usually issued 48 hours before the first tropical-storm-force winds arrive. A hurricane warning, on the other hand, means hurricane conditions are expected, the center said.With the watch touching both coasts, it's uncertain if both will be effected. It depends on where Irma turns and if and how far the eye comes onto land. The state is about 100 miles wide from Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers, a drive known as Alligator Alley. Storm surge watchThe storm surge watch extends from Jupiter inlet to Bonita Beach, the center said.What's that mean?There is a possibility of "life-threatening inundation" from rising water moving inland from the coast in the next 48 hours, the center said.Normally dry areas near the coast will be flooded by a combination of the surge and the tide, the center said. The worst-case is if the surge arrives during high tide. If that happens in the Florida watch area, the surge is expected to be five to 10 feet, with the deepest water along the coast in areas of onshore winds, the center said. "Large and destructive" waves should accompany the surge, the center said. Surges in other vacation destinationsTurks and Caicos Islands: 15 to 20 feetSoutheastern and central Bahamas: 15 to 20 feetNorthwestern Bahamas: Five to 10 feetNorthern coast of Dominican Republic: three to five feetNorthern coast of Haiti: one to three feetNorthern coast of Cuba (warning area): five to 10 feet. Hurricane warningsDominican Republic from Capo Engano to the northern border with HaitiHaiti from the northern border of the Dominican Republic to LeMole St. NicholasSoutheastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos IslandsNorthern Dominican Republic and northern Haiti: four to 10 inches, with an isolated 15.Southern Dominican Republic and southern Haiti: two to five inches.Eastern and central Cuba: four to 10 inches with an isolated 15. How much will it rain?Northeastern Puerto Rico and British and U.S. Virgin Islands: two to four more inches, with an isolated six inchesMuch of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos: eight to 12 inches with an isolated 20 inchesAndros Island and Bimini in the Bahamas: 12 to 16 inches with an isolated 25 inchesWhat about Florida?Southeast Florida and the Upper Keys: eight to 12 inches, with an isolated 20Southern Keys: Two to five inchesIrma 11 a.m. updateIrma's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 175 mph -- still a fierce Category 5 storm -- and the hurricane was moving west-northwest at 16 mph.Hurricane-force winds were reaching out 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extended 185 miles, the center said. Where's the storm?Irma was about 120 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island and 75 miles east-northeast of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.On its forecast track, it should pass just north of Hispaniola on Thursday and be near the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening, the center said. It should reach the central Bahamas by Friday

The Reporter Newspaper
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