CHARLESTON, W.Va. — What was Tropical Storm Irma, the storm downgraded from the powerful hurricane that made landfall twice in Florida, continued to lose strength on Monday as it pushed through the southern United States while dumping heavy rain.
“It’s now a tropical storm and then it’s going to become a depression and, by the time it gets here, it’s going to be just remnants, just moisture associated with it,” said Andy Roche, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, on Monday morning.
After “light to moderate” Irma rain from Monday night into Tuesday followed by a break late Tuesday into Wednesday, Roche said West Virginia’s southern and central higher elevations especially would then see some high winds by Thursday, with possible gusts of 30 miles per hour.
On Monday morning, Irma weakened to a tropical storm as it moved into northern Florida.
— WVDMAPS (@WVDMAPS) September 11, 2017
The latest available track had the system on a path toward the mid-Mississippi Valley by Wednesday, staying to the southwest of West Virginia, while rapidly losing strength.
Roche said the system was getting increasingly disorganized.
“The precipitation got moved toward the north,” he explained. For West Virginia, “It just seems to be just a rain producer system with a little bit of wind. We’re not expecting any major hazards with it.”
For the entire week, meteorologists said rain totals in West Virginia would not exceed one inch.
The National Weather Service had issued a Wind Advisory for Mercer County from 12 p.m. Monday through 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The Wind Advisory was necessary for that time period due to possible gusts of up to 50 miles per hour combined with wet ground that could possibly down trees and lead to power outages, according to forecasters.
Roche said he did not anticipate such Wind Advisories being necessary for the Mountain State later this week.
At least five deaths in Florida and more than two dozen in the Caribbean were being blamed on Hurricane Irma which remained a hurricane for 12 days.