Hurricane Irene and the Florida Keys

This time of year it's not unusual to watch the weather in the tropics.  Right now residents of the Keys are keeping a watchful eye on Hurricane Irene. 

The 11 a.m. Monday (August 22) Hurricane Irene tracking map takes the Middle Keys, Lower Keys and Key West out of the four- and five-day tropical cyclone forecast track-error cone. The Upper Keys and most of the Florida peninsula remain in the cone.

Monroe County Emergency Management has no plans for immediate protective actions related to Hurricane Irene, officials said following a Monday conference call with municipal, state and federal agencies.

If the current forecast track holds true, according to Jon Rizzo, warning coordinator for the Key West National Weather Service Office, no significant impacts are anticipated for the Keys

Rizzo said that tropical storm force winds are possible in the Florida Straits off the Upper Keys Wednesday night through Thursday evening and that there was a 40 to 50 percent chance for tropical storm force winds in the Middle and Upper Keys Thursday.

We'll know more as the week goes on, but most likely Hurricane Irene will not have any major impact on the Florida Keys.