Sarasota County could expect to feel the effects of Hurricane Irma as early as Friday evening, according to Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane. Make sure you’re in the know in Sarasota by signing up for CodeRED alerts:

As many as 37 million people could feel the effects of the terrifying hurricane Irma, claimed UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Hurricane Irma Path forecast

Hurricane Irma Path forecast

Meterologist Ryan Maue tweeted “Based on near perfect environment for Irma Hurricane to intensify, expecting a peak of 900 mb central pressure & 190 mph in next 24-36 hrs.”

Mr Maue shared a new ECMWF model which forecasts a category 5 Irma to hit Miami by early Sunday.

While we’re now tracking Hurricane Irma, it’s worth noting hurricanes with the letter “I” have been notorious in the Atlantic Basin so far this century. Most recently, Irene’s name was retired from further use by a committee of the World Meteorological Organization. This is done when a particular tropical cyclone is so deadly and/or damaging that future use might be considered insensitive or confusing.

Since 2001, eight “I” named-hurricanes have had their names retired by the WMO.  Is Irma going to be the next retired “I” named storm?

Irma is breaking records

Irma is now the strongest hurricane at 180mph winds in the Atlantic basin outuside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in National Hurricane Center records. She is bigger, stronger and faster than Hurricane Andrew which hit Florida in

Hurricane Irma registered Category 4+ for five consecutive days – only the fourth time this has happened since 1966.

Irma is expected to remain a major hurricane through the week. The threat Irma poses to Florida prompted Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency on Monday. The declaration includes all 67 counties within the Sunshine State. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 50 miles from the eye of the storm.  Florida is 500 miles long and 160 miles wide at its most distant points. Depending on where this storm lands, hurricane force winds are likely to be felt across the entire state of Florida.

Sarasota Hurricane Evacuation Route

Sarasota Hurricane Evacuation Route

Sarasota’s History of Hurricanes

Hurricane Andrew was a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that struck the Bahamas and Florida in mid-August 1992, the most destructive hurricane to ever hit the state. It was the strongest in decades and the costliest hurricane to make landfall anywhere in the United States until it was surpassed by Katrina in 2005. Andrew caused major damage in the Bahamas and Louisiana, but the greatest impact was felt in South Florida, with sustained wind speeds as high as 165 mph (270 km/h)

Sarasota County recorded a hurricane’s direct hit in 1944 when the eye of a Category 3 storm moved through north Casey Key and Osprey. 

There are some theories and local superstitions as to why the city of Sarasota has not had a direct hit from a storm since record keeping began back in 1871; the wildest one has to do with American Indian Spirits that still protect the area. These are what are known as “Urban Legends.” (

Others say that the Sarasota area is safe due to Mother Nature’s placement of the sand dunes on the coastal beaches, or the magic powers of Siesta Key’s white sand beaches and underwater crystals.

Whatever reason people believe, we have stayed safe from these potentially monster storms along the Sarasota Sun Coast for quite a number of years.

The record books say that Sarasota did take on varying degrees of damage from hurricanes in 1926, 1944 and 1950. ranks Sarasota as the #30th of cities and islands affected most by tropical storms and hurricanes.

Hit by Tropical Storm Colin in 2016 but remains in the same position, 15 hurricane hits puts Sarasota at the bottom of the 2.20 group. (affected 66 times since 1871)