AP, WOFL - Miami is already being battered by heavy rain and strong gusts of wind as Irma creeps toward the southern tip of Florida.
Meteorologists say the heavy rain squalls spawning tornadoes that are hitting South Florida are part of Hurricane Irma's leading edge.
The National Hurricane Center says a hurricane hunter airplane found Irma's winds dropped from 125 mph to 120 mph, but that's likely to soon increase again now that the center of the storm is over bathtub-warm water.
Hurricane force winds extend 70 miles (110 kilometers) out from the 30-mile (48-kilometer) wide storm eye.
Marathon International Airport recently reported a sustained wind of 48 mph (77 kilometers per hour) and a gust to 67 mph (108 kilometers per hour