Irma’s track now takes it through Florida and into Georgia, while South Carolina remains in the cone of uncertainty. The Upstate could see heavy rain and strong wind into late Monday and Tuesday, at times at Tropical Storm force of nearly 60 mph. The NHC has a 50-60% chance that the southern Upstate could see 40+ mph winds!
Hurricane Irma is currently a powerful Category 5 hurricane with winds at 175 mph near the center. It is now moving away from Puerto Rico, barreling towards the southeastern Bahamas then south Florida by the weekend. The storm is expected to stay at major strength, Cat 4 or 5 through the next few days.
Most of the computer models take the storm north into the GA/SC coast (really anywhere from Savannah to Charleston) on Monday. It is forecast to drop to category 3 or possibly 2 status just before hitting the Carolina coastline, weakening to a category 1 storm as it moves inland toward Columbia.
The western Carolinas (including the Upstate) would see widespread, heavy rain out of the storm by Monday and Tuesday. Winds could gust to 40-60 mph locally (tropical storm force), and that could bring down trees and power lines.
All the while we will have beautiful weather leading up to Irma’s impacts. Expect sunny skies and highs in the 70s through the weekend, with lows down in the 50s for the next few nights. It will be a taste of fall for sure. Conditions will deteriorate early Monday as the outer part of Irma pushes north.