Irma to reach the Florida coast as a Category 4 hurricane

In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands. This image was captured as daylight moves into the area, right, with nighttime features on the left side of the image. Hurricane Irma grew into a dangerous Category 5 storm, the most powerful seen in the Atlantic in over a decade, and roared toward islands in the northeast Caribbean Tuesday on a path that could eventually take it to the United States. (NOAA via AP)

MACON, Ga. -- Hurricane Irma is projected to reach middle Georgia as a tropical storm by Monday night.

11 A.M. HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE: The track is staying consistent this morning. Irma is projected to hug the western Gulf coast of Florida, cross though the Tampa area then move into the Big Bend of Florida. For Middle Georgia this means we will potentially see a weak category one storm or a strong tropical storm move in late Monday morning/afternoon.

The latest track from the National Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Irma taking another turn to the west. The storm is now projected to cross through the western half of the Florida peninsula before reaching southern Georgia.

Impacts from Hurricane Irma will begin to be felt in Middle Georgia as early as Sunday evening. Tropical Storm force winds will hold off until early Monday morning.

Our main impacts from this storm in Middle Georgia will be damaging winds and heavy rain. Sustained winds of 30-55 mph will be possible with the higher values expected to be in our southeastern counties. Wind gusts of 50-70 mph will also be possible when this storm is moving through on Monday.

Tornadoes and flash flooding will also be possible as Irma tracks north into the mid-state. The areas to the north of the eye will have the highest risk of tornadoes. For Middle Georgia this will be during the late morning Monday through the evening. Rainfall totals could range from a couple inches to eight inches of rain. If you receive heavy sustained rainfall for a long period of time flash flooding is possible.

As the storm gets closer and closer, we'll have a much better understanding of the situation. We will keep you updated with the latest forecast.

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