Category 5 Hurricane Irma is looming off the coast of Florida and is projected to directly hit the state.
A hurricane specialist out of Miami says the storm’s destructive potential could affect every major city within Florida.
Per the USA Today:
Hurricane Irma poses the most significant threat to Florida in memory — and “this is the kind of storm that you read about in the history books,” said Bryan Norcross, senior hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel.
“This has the possibility of running up the peninsula and affecting every major city in the state. It’s not certain that that’s what’s going to happen, but it certainly is a possibility,” Norcross said Wednesday.
Norcoss explained his coverage of the storm is nearly around the clock ahead of the monstrous storm:
“We don’t know what is going to happen exactly. But we know what the range of possibilities is — and this is a situation where the top of that range is extraordinarily extreme,” he said. “This is the kind of storm that I always pictured when I read the history books about the great Florida hurricanes of the past and imagined how they would impact the modern state.”
Norcross has worked for The Weather Channel since 2010. Tuesday, he left his Miami Beach apartment and flew to the network’s Atlanta studios for around-the-clock Irma coverage.
“When a storm is threatening like this, my day is pretty much 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., or maybe a little after. I start in the morning, where we have morning meteorology meetings, and I post extensively on Facebook. I stay up through the 11 o’clock advisory at night,” he said.
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The hurricane specialist explained Florida was similarly hit in 1960:
Norcross, who worked as chief meteorologist at WTVJ-TV in Miami when Hurricane Andrew stormed ashore in August 1992, retold the experience in My Hurricane Andrew Story, a book released in May.
A quarter-century ago, Andrew inflicted unbelievable damage in South Florida that “you use a round of superlatives to describe,” Norcross said. But Andrew was a fairly small-sized hurricane that moved directly across the Sunshine State from east to west, he said.
Prior to Irma’s projected path, Norcross said Florida has not faced a similar threat from a big, powerful hurricane since Hurricane Donna in 1960.
That historic hurricane hit the Middle Keys as a Category 4 storm, then curved to the northeast and crossed the peninsula as a major hurricane. Donna exited Florida between Brevard County and Jacksonville.