Thursday, September 7, 2017

Irma A Little Weaker...

There seems to be some decrease in Irma’s intensity tonight, but it appears that will not continue as she approaches south Florida.  No change to the NHC track or thinking tonight and Florida remains in the bullseye.   The only real questions tonight are, 1) will it turn and go northward along Florida’s east coast keeping the brunt of the storm offshore (30% chance) or 2) Will it make the turn a little later and go northward along the west coast of Florida (20% chance) or 3) will it split the difference and go right up over Florida (50% chance).   The 3rd choice would weaken the storm quicker as it would be over land while the other 2 choices would likely keep the winds stronger longer.  None of the above is a good scenario for Florida.  Each track has different impacts and until we know for sure, it’s kind of useless to speculate.  Floridians must prepare for the worst and hope for the best.   Some of you in Louisiana wonder “what if it doesn’t make the turn?”   It will make the turn.  The real question is when.   The difference between Irma & Katrina is a cold front has pushed down into the northern Gulf and that will block Irma from coming too far west.  Cooler and drier air (dew points in the 50s!) has spread down into the Gulf and Hurricanes hate cooler & drier air.    Katrina had no such obstacle and just rotated around the Atlantic Ridge.  Irma may make the extreme eastern Gulf, but she will not come into LA/MS.  The main concern is for south Florida where they’ll have to deal with storm surge and damaging winds.   Central Florida could see some damage  while farther north the impacts will be less.  A track up Florida’s east coast land falling in the Carolinas could bring them surge & damaging winds too.  Friday is the wait to see day.  By Saturday we should know the answers to the questions.  Stay tuned!

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