Press Release

Department of Disaster Management
Release Date:
Wednesday, 6 September 2017 - 12:05am

At 11:00 p.m. the eye of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 17.4 North, longitude 61.1 West. Irma has now taken a west-northwest track near 15 mph, and this motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move the northern Virgin Islands throughout the day on Wednesday.

The BVI is located along latitude 18.25 degrees North, longitude 64.37 degrees West. The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) to Road Town, Tortola is located 10.4 miles away.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 185 mph gusting to 205 mph. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 5 hurricane when it passes through the Territory.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.

The minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft observations is 916mb.

The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and large breaking waves will raise water levels ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS by 7ft to 11ft within the hurricane warning area near and to the north of the center of Irma. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Sea conditions will be dangerously rough with heights of 20 feet.
The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.

Irma is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 8 to 14 inches, isolated 20 inches in some areas. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. The BVI remains under a FLASH FLOOD WATCH.

Swells generated by Irma will affect the British Virgin Islands during the next several days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Please continue to monitor local media stations, DDM’s website ( and Facebook at BVIDDM for regular updates and preparedness tips.

Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such information.

This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has interest in local weather conditions.

By no means can the DDM or the BVI Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result in the loss of finances, property or life.