When Will Hurricane Irma Hit Florida? Forecasters Believe It Will Be One Of Strongest Storms Ever When It Hits

When is Hurricane Irma expected to hit Florida?

After watching the devastation that the hurricane brought to the Caribbean, many worried Floridians wondered when the path would bring the storm through their state. The predictions have still been in flux as the storm moves closer to the Florida Keys, but meteorologists are starting to converge around a forecast that would bring landfall sometime this weekend — potentially as one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit Florida.

By Thursday evening, Hurricane Irma was moving west-northwest toward the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos, Newsweek reported. This has put Florida directly in the path of Hurricane Irma’s destruction.

“The threat of direct hurricane impacts in Florida over the weekend and early next week continues to increase,” the National Hurricane Center wrote, via Newsweek. “Hurricane watches will likely be issued for portions of the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula later this morning.”

The exact time that Hurricane Irma will hit Florida has not been determined, but the path will likely be affected by a southward dip in the jet stream coming from the eastern United states, Weather.com noted. This will dictate which parts of Florida are struck the hardest, the report noted.

There is high confidence among forecasters that Hurricane Irma will strike in southern Florida before spreading to the rest of the Florida peninsula, Georgia, and the Carolinas. At its current projected path, Hurricane Irma is likely to start making landfall in Florida late on Saturday or early Sunday. But later in the day on Sunday, it is expected to reach Miami with winds of 150 miles per hour.

There have already been evacuations in parts of the Florida Keys, and residents across southern Florida have been scrambling to leave the area, leading to some large traffic jams.

As NJ.com noted, Hurricane Irma is already among the strongest Atlantic hurricanes of all time, with sustained winds topping 180 miles per hour. By Wednesday afternoon, Hurricane Irma reached the milestone of maintaining 185 mile per hour winds for 24 straight hours, the longest a hurricane in either the Atlantic or Pacific has maintained that strength, the National Hurricane Center noted.

While it remains to be seen exactly what time Hurricane Irma will make landfall in Florida, or whether it might change course slightly, experts believe it has a good chance to be one of the strongest ever to hit the state when it does arrive.

[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]