HURRICANE IRMA - Important Information for our Owners

As we approach 11 months since Hurricane Matthew impacted the Lowcountry, we are keeping a close eye on another major storm heading toward the Southeast United States in Hurricane Irma. Irma is an extremely powerful storm with current maximum sustained winds of over 180 mph or the largest Category 5 Hurricane in history as it approaches the outer Caribbean Islands. At this point the projected path has it heading toward south Florida but most of the computer models are showing it turning northward at some point. IMC has already begun early storm protocol and will do our best to keep you abreast of the situation. For current updates on Hurricane Irma, please CLICK HERE. CLICK HERE for the 2017 SC Hurricane Guide, which contains some very helpful information.

Below is the most recent information released from the NWS National Hurricane Center in Miami Florida. We urge everyone to review their preparedness and evacuation plans and stay tuned.

Hurricane Irma Discussion Number 26

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017

1100 AM AST Tue Sep 05 2017

Irma is an extremely impressive hurricane in both infrared and

visible satellite images. Experimental GOES-16 one-minute visible

satellite pictures show a distinct 25-30 n mi wide eye with several

mesovortices rotating within with eye. The aircraft have not

sampled the northeastern eyewall where the strongest winds were

measured shortly before 1200 UTC this morning, but the Air Force

plane will be entering the eye in that quadrant momentarily. A peak

SFMR wind of 154 kt was reported, with a few others of 149-150 kt.

Based on these data the initial intensity is set at 155 kt for this

advisory. This makes Irma the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic

basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in the NHC


Irma is expected to remain within low vertical wind shear, a moist

mid-level atmosphere, and high upper-ocean heat content as it moves

west-northwestward during the next several days. These conditions

should allow the hurricane to remain very intense throughout much

of the forecast period, however, fluctuations in intensity are

likely to occur as eyewall replacement cycles take place. The NHC

intensity forecast is near the upper-end of the guidance and assumes

little overall interaction of Irma with the islands of the Greater


Irma continues to move westward at about 12 kt, and a strong

subtropical ridge centered over the central Atlantic should steer

Irma generally westward today. The ridge is expected to remain in

place over the western Atlantic during the next several days and

Irma is forecast to move west-northwestward throughout the most of

remainder of the forecast period. Around day 5, a shortwave trough

dropping southward over the central United States is expected to

begin eroding the western portion of the ridge, allowing a Irma to

gain some latitude. The new NHC track forecast is close to the

HFIP corrected consensus model and is very similar to the previous


Since Irma is a large hurricane, users are reminded to not focus on

the exact forecast track since tropical-storm and hurricane-force

winds and life-threatening storm surge extend far from the center.

Residents in the Leeward Islands should complete their preparations

very soon as the weather will begin to deteriorate over the

easternmost Leeward Islands later this afternoon.


1. Irma is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane and will

bring life-threatening wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to

portions of the northeastern Leeward Islands beginning later today

and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico beginning tomorrow.

Preparations should be rushed to completion before the arrival of

tropical-storm force winds later today in the Leeward Islands and

tomorrow morning in Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

2. Hurricane watches have been issued for portions of the Dominican

Republic and Haiti, the southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos,

and Irma could bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall to

those areas on Thursday and Friday.

3. Irma could directly affect the remainder of the Bahamas and Cuba

as an extremely dangerous major hurricane later this week. Residents

in these areas should monitor the progress of Irma and listen to

advice given by officials.

4. The chance of direct impacts from Irma later this week and this

weekend is increasing in the Florida Keys and portions of the

Florida Peninsula. However, it is too soon to specify the timing

and magnitude of the impacts. Elsewhere, it is too early to

determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental