Hurricane Irene Misses Florida Keys
With its center core now at latitudes north of the Florida Keys, Hurricane Irene has officially missed the island chain, Jon Rizzo, warning coordinator for the National Weather Service office in Key West, said Thursday.
The center of Irene came within 230 miles of Key Largo, the closest point in the Keys to the Category 3 storm, Rizzo said.
With its center now about 205 miles east of Fort Lauderdale, Irene is continuing to move north-northwest at 13 mph, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center. It it is expected to turn north and then north-northeast early Friday.
There were no tropical cyclone warnings or watches in the Keys -- or anywhere else in Florida -- associated with the storm. Monroe County Emergency Management officials officials did not need to issue protective actions.
The outer bands of the storm are causing rough seas in marine areas off the Keys and the Key West National Weather Service office continues a small craft advisory today through Friday morning for all waters (Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay) between Key Largo and the Seven Mile Bridge. After that, small craft operators in the Upper and Middle Keys should exercise caution through Saturday morning.
For marine interests west of the Seven Mile Bridge, operators of small crafts should exercise caution now through Saturday morning.
A complete local weather forecast can be found at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/key.
This is the final planned advisory for Hurricane Irene.
OnlineKey West National Weather Office: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/key/National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/