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Why forecasters are so concerned about Hurricane Irma

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Ronald Breau
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As of Thursday morning, the 180-mph Hurricane Irma continues to pose a grave threat to the southeastern United States.

The best available modeling continues to suggest this will probably be a historically bad storm for much of the southern half of Florida.

There remains a chance that Irma will turn north before reaching Florida and move to the east of the peninsula, which would leave the state on the drier side of the storm, with lesser winds and surge.

You may have noticed some people are kind of freaking out about Irma, and we expect that to only get worse as the storm approaches Florida this weekend.

And although it is certainly better to prepare for a hurricane rather than panic, there are some pretty legitimate reasons for extreme concern.

We understand, broadly, that storms require warm water to form and strengthen, and that factors such as high wind shear can break them apart.

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Ronald Breau
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