As Hurricane Irma makes its way closer to the Carolinas, there's one question on everyone's mind: How bad will this storm actually be? WCNC-TV Meteorologist Brad Panovich lays out what the Charlotte region can expect.
Hurricane Irma will likely make landfall in south Florida early Sunday morning. It'll move north pretty quickly and be north of Orlando by Monday morning. Then, it'll likely come up through Georgia and head just west of the Charlotte region. The impacts in the Carolinas will start probably Monday night into Tuesday. The region will likely begin seeing rain mid-day on Monday.
Wind threat is the biggest concern with Irma. Winds will likely be 30-40 mph with gusts of 50mph. (For comparison, Hurricane Hugo had sustained winds of 80 mph.)
Rainfall is expected in the area of 2-4 inches. Some places may see rainfall totals around 5 inches. The storm isn't going to stall. It'll move quickly, so that rain will be in and out of the area. There may be flash flooding, but only in areas prone to it.
Usually tornadoes form on the eastern and western sides of hurricanes, but the Charlotte region has cool, dry air in place right now and that will deter tornadoes from forming.
Prepare as you would for an ice storm. Expect not to have power for a couple days. Expect trees to go down and cause disruptions of internet, cell phone, and cable service. Think about stocking up on batteries, chargers for cell phones, and cash.