Will Hurricane Hermine hit Orlando?

·2 min read

Tropical Depression Nine formed Friday in the Caribbean with a five-day cone of uncertainty that projects it to grow into a major Category 3 Hurricane Hermine and make landfall on Florida’s southwest coast by Wednesday morning.

“We are watching the path, still not quite clear-cut, but it is aiming in the general direction of Florida sometime next week,” said Spectrum News 13 meteorologist Bryan Karrick. “So I’d spend the weekend getting your hurricane preps ready to go, maybe top off the gas tank, and get your generator ready, some bottled water and canned good as well as we watch the system next week.”

As of 11 a.m. Friday, TD9 is located in the southwest Caribbean with 35 mph winds. It’s projected to be a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds and gusts of 140 mph by Wednesday morning with its center coming ashore between Naples and Tampa similar to where Hurricane Charley made a devastating landfall before cutting across the state including Orlando in 2004.

All of Central Florida including Orlando are officially within the NHC’s cone including Orange, Seminole, Lake, Osceola, Brevard Polk and Volusia counties.

Already in Central Florida, which has seen a lot of rainfall of late, the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management has started its sandbag service and are preparing shelters in the event they’re needed. Shelter locations are not announced until the shelters are fully set up and staffed.

Floridians need to keep track of changes in the track, which come every six hours from the National Hurricane Center, at 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. The center also gives intermediate advisories between those forecasts with updates in sustained winds, direction and current location.

And impacts can occur outside of the cone of uncertainty, which is geared more toward where the center of the storm will potentially be.

Hurricane-force winds and tropical-storm-force winds can extend out 100-200 miles in many cases.

As of 8 a.m. Friday, the NHC’s wind predictions are that Central Florida has a 30-40% chance it will see tropical-storm-force winds within five days.

Rainfall can also be an issue, as tropical storms can bring the threat of flooding, especially if they are slow-moving systems.

Much of Central Florida has experienced above heavy rainfall over the past two weeks, which will increase the likelihood of flash flooding conditions with the anticipated heavy rain.

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