Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TS Fay: August 19 Update B

Well she's an interesting one... probably not words you want to read when
a storm is traversing the state, but scientifically she's very

Since making landfall, the convection has been decreasing - both in terms
of intensity and in terms of areal extent. There are still possibilities
of strong thunderstorms and tornadoes - especially on her eastern side as
people along the east coast already know. See postscript at the bottom!

However, despite the reduction in convection, she is now better organized
than any point in her life and actually looks like she's trying to develop
an eye - over land! (clearly she didn't read "The Dummies Guide on How to
be a Hurricane" - but apparently we all did ... otherwise we would have
seen this coming - the NHC and models also expected her to decrease as she
crossed land). The NHC put out an advisory at 1pm (an hour ahead of normal
schedule) and just issued another one at 3pm - both somewhat irregular.
Her wind speed is now 65 mph (TS winds: 39-73 mph), so she's a strong TS
and hurricane strength gusts have been observed. Her central pressure is
986 mb - still fairly low pressure.

She is primarily picking up moisture from the Florida Current/Gulf Stream
that runs along the eastern edge of Florida. I don't think Lake Okeechobee
is really big enough or deep enough to provide this sort of energy. We
know that storms that cross the Everglades don't decrease in intensity as
much as storms crossing other parts of Florida because of the water/swamp,
and she was in that area too. Atmospheric dynamics must also be at play in
this. There is very little wind shear and dry air is not a factor. But
again, as we saw earlier this year, there is something else at work here.

As for the track, I still don't see why they have her recurving back, but
there have been times before (very few of course ;)) when I've not seen
what the models forecast in the actual observations. The forecast models
say that the high will re-build westward which will force her to curve
back. This is quite possible, but I don't have any way of confirming it

My best guess from the observations of the pressure at the moment are that
she will actually exit Florida south of the current track (which has her
exiting at Cape Canaveral - the track has shifted south between the 1pm
and 3pm advisories), possibly in the Melbourne area (or even farther
south) and then head out to the Atlantic - all within the cone though.
Currently her center is at 27.1 N, 81.1 W - crossing the NW edge of Lake

Also, I would just be getting ready anyway to be on the safe side if you
live in Georgia and S. Carolina. If there's recurving to be done, we're
still looking at Thurs. for third landfall and things can change.
I agree with the re-intensification once she's over the Atlantic again.

As for Tampa Bay - winds picked up a bit. Not much rain over my head at
the moment, but other parts of the bay may have had some.

If you wish to look at the radar for yourself click here:

This is the Tampa Bay NWS radar - long range loop, so it may take a few
seconds to load up. Or, you can go to:


Click on a dot on the map for the radar of choice and that will give you a
still image. On the left side, under short range images, there's a link
that says 'loop', click on that for a movie.

Remember, if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask and I'll make
something up ;)

Continue to stay safe and listen to the EOC/NWS/NHC folks. I'll send out
another update later.

P.S. OH!! I got my first comment on the blog site! (I think it's the first
one)! (this calls for many exclamation marks!!!). For those of you who get
this via the list, the comment said they are getting pelted in Vero Beach
and the Melbourne Doppler picked up a Tornado approaching Jupiter Island
at 10a.

It will get worse over there as she gets closer... and now even more so if
she's getting stronger.

Blogs archived at: http://www.jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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