Hurricane Irma weakened to a Category 3 storm as it rumbled along the coast of Cuba, but it was expected to regain strength as it headed toward Florida.
And Irma’s latest path projection continued to show that it would roll toward Southern Illinois, where it would peter out.
The latest projection map from the National Weather Service shows the hurricane spreading across Florida, then heading northwest toward Illinois. The NWS projects hurricane residue will hit Southern Illinois on Wednesday or Thursday.
But this doesn’t mean the weather will change much in the area, said NWS forecaster Jayson Gosselin.
“Right now, we’re basically expecting little to no impact,” Gosselin said. “The main thing to notice is an increase in clouds on Tuesday night and Wednesday.”
It looks like the circulation of the hurricane will end in the Tennessee Valley area, Gosselin said, and the St. Louis area won’t see much residue.
Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes on record, weakened slightly to a Category 3 hurricane after grinding along the northern coast of Cuba early Saturday. But it was expected to soon head for the Lower Keys with what forecasters expected to be regained strength.
Irma was projected to hit Florida and its Keys starting Saturday night. Forecasts continue to nudge the storm west, but any wobble could change the storm’s course.
Florida is expecting to see serious damage from the hurricane, which is projected to hit as a dangerous category 4 storm, something Florida hasn’t seen for 25 years, when category 5 Hurricane Andrew slammed south Dade.
Two Belleville firefighters are traveling to South Carolina to help out in hurricane-affected areas after the state requested aid.
Irma has forced Walt Disney World in Orlando to close, something that’s only been done four times before.