The National Hurricane Center is likely to issue hurricane watches for South Florida Thursday as spaghetti models — illustrations of the storm’s possible track — reveal where Hurricane Irma is headed after devastating parts of the Caribbean.
An update from the National Hurricane Center Thursday morning said that the eye of Hurricane Irma was moving northwest of Hispaniola and towards the Turks and Caicos islands after lashing against Puerto Rico late Wednesday. Irma’s spaghetti models now show that the Category 5 hurricane with 180-mph winds is likely to make landfall in South Florida sometime on Sunday—but tropical-force winds will arrive on Saturday, according to the center.
It’s important to note spaghetti models are just projections. While it considers “current conditions to get an idea of what the atmosphere is already doing on a three-dimensional grid…models are required to interpolate, guessing what the environment is like in between,” Washington Post reports. This means there can be gaps in the data.
At least 10 people have died on the Caribbean islands where Hurricane Irma has stormed through. More than 95% of the buildings on Antigua and Barbuda, where Irma first hit, have been flattened.
Florida officials have warned Interstate 95 and Turnpike roads are already congested by traffic as people attempt to evacuate the state. Counties in South Carolina and Georgia, where Hurricane Irma has been predicted to reach as well, are also under a state of emergency.