STATEMENT FROM THE T&T MET OFFICE:
Irma turns westward and re-strengthens to a category 3 hurricane.
At 500 PM ECT (2100 UTC), the centre of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 18.8˚ North, longitude 39.1˚ West, about 2405km east of the Leeward Islands. Irma is moving toward the west near 20 km/h (13mph). A turn toward the west-southwest is expected tomorrow.
After undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle earlier in the day causing the hurricane to weaken slightly, Irma re-intensifies into a category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 195 km/h(120mph) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Fluctuations in strength, up or down, are possible during the next few days, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through the weekend.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 km (25 miles) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 165 km (105 miles).
The estimated minimum central pressure is 964 mb (28.47 inches).
The westward turn of Irma has begun and a building mid-level high should cause the hurricane to turn west-southwestward tomorrow and continue through early next week. Later on, Irma should reach the southern periphery of the ridge, and begin to move west-northwestward. At this time, on the current trend based on numerical models, the hurricane is expected to pass near to or possibly over the northern Leeward islands.
It should be noted that Irma is expected to be a major hurricane when it approaches the Lesser Antilles early next week, producing rough surf and rip currents. Irma could also cause dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts on some islands, although it is too soon to specify where and when those hazards could occur.
Interests in the northern Leeward islands should monitor the progress of the system.
ON THE CURRENT TRACK IRMA POSES NO THREAT TO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AND GRENADA AND ITS DEPENDENCIES.
Information courtesy of the NHC: