Miami, Fla. (970 WFLA)- At 800 AM, the distinct eye center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.7 North, longitude 57.7 West. It's about 270 miles east of Antigua, and about 280 miles east-southeast of Barbuda.
Irma is moving toward the west near 14 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue today, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest tonight. On the forecast track, the dangerous core of Irma will move near or over portions of the northern Leeward Islands tonight and early Wednesday.
Reports from NOAA and U.S. Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate Irma continues to strengthen and maximum sustained winds have increased to near 175 mph with higher gusts. Irma is an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
The latest estimated minimum central pressure from aircraft data is 929 mb (27.44 inches).
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for..
* Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis
* Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
* Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy
* British Virgin Islands* U.S. Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Guadeloupe* Dominica
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engao to Isla Saona
Graphic Credit: NHC Miami