Northeast Florida will remember Hurricane Irma’s impact for years. The hurricane began as a strong tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa Aug. 27th and was upgraded to a tropical storm on the 30th, then to a hurricane on Aug. 31st.
Irma plowed into the Northern Lesser Antilles as a Cat. 5 hurricane - the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Windward Islands. From there the storm gained just enough latitude while moving west/northwest to keep the eye north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola before bending a little southwest and plowing across the north coast of Cuba.
The landfall weakened the hurricane for a while but the warm water of the Florida Straits helped to restrengthen Irma to a Cat. 4 before the first U.S. landfall in the Keys on Sun., Sept. 10th.
The next landfall was on the Florida mainland at Marco Island as a Cat. 3, then a move north up the spine of Florida before bending more northwest and finally become a remnant low Mon., Sept. 11th.