MIAMI (AP)-- The center of Hurricane Irma has now cleared the Cuban coast and entered the Florida Straits, where bathtub-warm water of nearly 90 degrees (32 degrees Celsius) will enable the storm to intensify.
It's also starting to spin up funnel clouds and at least one tornado, leading to warnings for parts of South Florida.
The National Weather Service in Miami posted on Twitter Saturday evening that a tornado had touched the ground in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Oakland Park. It wasn't immediately clear how much damaged was caused.
Tornado warnings have been issued for Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and Sunrise in Broward County, as well as parts of nearby Palm Beach and Hendry Counties.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is urging Floridians to be "patient" and not quickly rush back to their homes once Irma passes. He says the massive storm is likely to cause widespread damage and that people should stay away until they are told by local officials that they can return.
Irma had fallen to a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds, but National Hurricane Center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen says it's already showing signs at high altitudes of regaining its previous powerhouse strength and becoming better organized.
The forecasts even have Irma maintaining hurricane strength well into Georgia on Monday.