Published on : Wednesday, September 6, 2017
As Hurricane Irma bears toward the Caribbean, Cuba and the southeast coast of Florida, Delta’s dedicated team of 25 meteorologists are taking a hard look at the storm’s track to gauge the impact to the airline’s operation.
Irma, which strengthened to a category 5 storm, is the strongest storm to develop in the Atlantic Ocean, according the National Hurricane Center.
A weather waiver was published over the weekend and then updated again today to reflect an expected disruption of air travel to destinations throughout the Caribbean.
The current track shows Hurricane Irma passing through the Lesser Antilles and other southern Caribbean islands late Tuesday and early Wednesday. From there, the storm will pass near the island of St. Thomas and approach the northeast coast of Puerto Rico by Wednesday evening. Delta has canceled its operation in St. Thomas for Wednesday and will delay its evening operation in San Juan pending a facility assessment after the storm’s passage.
While forecast models later in the week are not completely certain of the storm’s track, Delta’s team expects the storm to begin a northward curve late Saturday afternoon — from its current west-northwest trajectory — passing between Cuba and the Bahamas toward the southern tip of Florida. Beyond that, weather forecast models vary, but may include Irma continuing northward up the eastern coast of Florida. Delta will continue evaluating the path of the storm and strategic planners in the airline’s Operations and Customer Center are working with operational teams at airports along the storm’s projected path to determine where disruptions may occur.