The NOAA Hurricane Hunters will begin flying reconnaissance flights in Irma beginning on Sunday to gain more information on the hurricane's latest intensity and size.
The trend in computer models that predict the future track of hurricanes is a subtle southward trend, or toward the Leeward Islands.
It is looking like direct impacts to the Lesser Antilles are more likely to be in the northern Leewards from Guadeloupe northward, but this may change in the coming days.
For now, residents of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas should follow the progress of Irma closely.
A direct Irma impact is not a foregone conclusion, but chances of impacts in the islands are increasing. The possibilities range from a direct raking of many of the Leeward Islands to the hurricane passing far enough north to only deliver periphery impacts such as high surf, gusty winds and rainbands.
Lesser Antilles Concern
Irma is expected to reach the longitude of the Lesser Antilles (eastern Caribbean) late Tuesday or early Wednesday and Irma could be a formidably intense hurricane at that time.