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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Hurricane Watch has been issued for parts of the Leeward Islands as Irma’s intensity continues to fluctuate, moving west-southwest.

Interests in the Leeward Islands should be monitoring the storm closely.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, the center of the hurricane was 790 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

Irma is moving toward the west near 14 mph (22 km/h). A westward to west-southwestward motion with some reduction in forward speed is expected through Monday night. On the forecast track, the center of Irma is forecast to approach the northern Leeward Islands late Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).


A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis
* Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
* Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy

Interests in the remainder of the Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of Irma. Additional Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches may be required for portions of this area on Monday.


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