At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 20.0 North, longitude 68.3 West.
Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue with some decrease in forward speed for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center should pass north of the coast of Hispaniola later today, be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by this evening, and then be near the Central Bahamas by Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 180 mph (285 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km).
The estimated minimum central pressure is 921 mb (27.20 inches).