SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Here's a Monday tropical update from WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams:
In the tropics, powerful Irma continues to move west-southwestward over the central Atlantic Ocean.
Monday's official National Hurricane Center forecast for Irma has shifted slightly to the southwest of previous forecasts.
This would put Irma's center near the coast of Cuba on Saturday as a major hurricane.
Beyond that, the forecast remains uncertain.
As Irma is steered westward by a ridge of high pressure to its north, it is later expected to be picked up by a cold front this weekend that should turn the storm to the north.
This turn to the north is not guaranteed.
If Irma misses the turn, that would put the storm in the Gulf later this weekend.
If Irma makes the turn, impacts would instead be mainly near Florida's east coast and other points north of that along the southeast Atlantic coastline.
Irma has our full attention and we will continue to stay on top of the latest developments.
While we are still about a week away from any possible U.S. impacts, this is a great time to review your hurricane plan with your family. We are nearing the peak of hurricane season which occurs this month.
"Again, this forecast still has plenty of time to change," said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams. "Hopefully, it changes for the better for us Gulf Coast residents. But, as of Monday, it's not looking like good news for anyone that lives near the Gulf Coast."