Despite Irma, Corn Belt will stay dry for the next several days

Eric Snodgrass
Principal Atmospheric Scientist

The last 36 hours of weather observations have allowed weather forecast models to hone in on Irma's eventual path through Florida. We expect a late Saturday landfall at Category 3+ intensity (likely Category 4-5 intensity) along the southern tip of Florida. Hurricane Irma, which is the size of Texas, will traverse the state from the south to the north, bringing hurricane force winds to the entire width of the peninsula. This hurricane is moving quickly, but despite that fact, 6-12+ inches of rain will cover a large part of the peninsula. We are anticipating CATASTROPHIC damage across the southern tip of Florida. Nearly all of Florida's 20+ million people will be impacted by Irma. Thankfully, as Irma enters Georgia, it will interact with the dry, Canadian air mass that is currently over the Corn Belt—keeping the Corn Belt dry for the next several days. This will weaken Irma quickly. However, Irma will likely be a defining event in the U.S. hurricane history.