A shifting Hurricane Irma has prompted a hurricane warning and storm surge warning northward along Florida’s west coast to Chassahowitzka.
The warning now includes all of the Tampa Bay area, except Citrus County, which remains under a hurricane watch.
Irma’s track has shifted westward.
Hurricane Irma is still projected to come up through Florida as a major hurricane.
As Irma reaches Florida, more watches and warnings will be issued.
Irma is forecast to directly impact Florida based on the latest track and forecast models with a projected landfall Sunday morning in Southwest Florida, however bands of rain will spread north to Central Florida starting Saturday night.
Preparations locally should be brought to completion in anticipation of hurricane force winds among other hazards.
Hurricane hunters have found that Irma is going through an eyewall replacement cycle and is a powerful category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
While there will be some fluctuations, Irma is expected to remain a major hurricane until landfall.
In preparation of Hurricane Irma, seven Greater Tampa Bay nonprofits, led by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, has set up the Tampa Bay Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund so local residents and beyond can aid in the regional recovery effort. Donors can go here to donate.
Walmart has also pledged $1 million towards relief and recovery efforts