Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TS Fay: August 20 Update A

I know the folks on the central/northern east coast of Florida won't
agree (thanks for the photos), but this is a fascinating system.

Track: She's still just about over Florida and continues to move much
slower than expected at a grand 3mph in a northward direction. She's
located at around 28.6N, 80.6W - right over the Melbourne/Cape Canaveral
area which is where I expected her to head towards. As I said yesterday,
the reason she's so slow is because she is encountering a high pressure
system. I have just looked at the latest pressure fields... and there
is, indeed, high pressure on almost all sides of her. The only small
avenue of movement she can take based on these is actually NW and back
over to the west side of Florida. The official forecast still has her
moving offshore a bit. I'm not sure she will make it that far east. I
think she'll try and continue northwards along the coast for a while
longer, and then move NW - this is more-or-less in agreement with the
official track and well within the cone. The less she interacts with the
warm eastern waters, the lower her intensity. At the moment, the
weakness in this high is somewhere between Tampa Bay and the Big Bend.
If that is the direction she takes, it means she will exit over the Gulf
...unless something changes - and we know *that* never happens! She will
get weaker though as she moves NW over land... although at the moment
the center of the NHC cone keeps her over land as she moves NW and that
might be a tad too north. We'll see.

Intensity: She's currently got 50mph winds (995 mb), making her a
smallish Tropical Storm, although there is still quite considerable rain
to her north (and south) - it looks like Melbourne is getting a pretty
good car wash! They have reduced her forecast intensity and no longer
have her becoming a cat 1, even if she escapes into the Atlantic for a bit.

To sum up, TS Fay looks like she's taking a boustrophedon-like tour of
Florida: the Keys, the Everglades, Kennedy Space Center, possibly aiming
for Disney next ... or maybe Tallahassee to check out the Capitol...
(That's the first time I've ever used boustrophedon in a sentence by the
way - thank you for the opportunity :)).

I'll send out another update later.

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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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