Late Thursday night, Miami-Dade and Broward were placed under a hurricane warning and storm surge warning as Hurricane Irma inched closer to Florida, with emergency alerts going to cellphones all over the region.
The warnings extend from the Jupiter Inlet southward, around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and the Florida Bay, according to the National Weather Service’s 11 p.m. advisory. These areas were originally placed under a hurricane watch 12 hours earlier.
The official difference is a hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area imminently. Once a warning is issued for the area, “preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
Also Thursday night, new parts of the state were placed under a hurricane watch. This includes east coast regions north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet and areas on the west coast north of Bonita Beach to Anna Maria Island.
As of 5 a.m. Friday, the now-Category 4 Irma was about 495 miles southeast of Miami, and is expected to be near the Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula Sunday morning.