Most of the world, it seems, has its eyes glued to Hurricane Irma coverage. But if you don't have access to the news on TV, you still need to be able to watch Hurricane Irma in real time, as Florida prepares for possibly its worst natural disaster in 25 years. Thankfully, the internet is rife with live coverage, whether you're looking for ongoing analysis, changing radar maps, or just plain webcams. What you won't find much of, though, are weathermen out reporting in the blustery weather — because Floridian officials have warned everyone to either evacuate or hunker down inside.
In terms of webcams, your best bet is the excellent page of Irma webcams from the Washington Post, or any number of live Irma webcams on Youtube. The one run by the Washington Post has screens from Miami, Hollywood, and Fort Myers, Florida, in addition to a radar map. Several Youtube live streams are coming straight from the Florida Keys, the islands south of mainland Florida where Irma will make landfall first.
If you're a weather nerd and what you're looking for is the most updated version of Irma's radar map, NBC News has continuous coverage, complete with the color-coded radar maps and the other maps charting its potential path and strength over the next couple of days.
As Florida prepares for worsening conditions, you can also check out archived footage of Hurricane Irma hitting the Caribbean islands where it already wreaked havoc on a mammoth scale. In Barbuda, the first island where it made landfall, officials reported that the island is now "barely habitable," and it has left significant damage in all of the other places where it's come aground.
All of the major news organizations know that everyone is sympathizing with Florida and the other places that have already felt Irma's wrath, so there is no lack of excellent live coverage of Hurricane Irma. It's definitely worth keeping your eye on the analysis, because the webcams won't tell you, for example, that Irma has just been upgraded to a Category 4 storm again, as CNN is now reporting. As the worst part of the storm gets closer and closer to the Florida Keys, you can watch what officials there have to say and keep yourself updated on the weather developments in the area.
Hurricane Irma has already caused unprecedented levels of damage in the Caribbean, and no one knows exactly what it will leave behind after it makes its way through Florida. The authorities are certainly taking it seriously, having ordered six million people to evacuate in the strongest possible terms. Florida Gov. Rick Scott begged people on Saturday to "evacuate. Not tonight, not in an hour. You need to go right now." Officials in Tampa and elsewhere warned residents who insisted on staying that with winds in excess of 40 miles per hour, emergency personnel would be unable to get to them, so they would just have to wait it out. Just for context, Irma brought gusts of up to 200 miles per hour to Cuba, and it's currently bringing sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour.
200 or 130 miles per hour may just be numbers to you, but now those live webcams can give you a sense of what it actually looks like. The bottom line is that this storm is beyond serious, and anyone who neglected evacuation orders needs to stay in the most secure part of their living space until everything passes. Irma is a big storm, so that might take a while, but it is at least heartening that reports say that so many people did manage to get out of the state or make it to emergency shelters.