19 August 2008

Fay inland over Florida and strengthening...

Fay made landfall on the Florida peninsula near Cape Romano (about halfway between Fort Meyers and Cape Sable) at 09Z this morning as a 50kt tropical storm.  However, since making landfall, it has developed an eyewall and the central pressures have fallen to 986mb (was 989mb at landfall, and 995mb a few hours prior to landfall).  Though the winds are not very strong at surface stations across the peninsula, they could start to increase in response to the decreasing pressure.

Visible satellite loop:

Radar loop:

The forecast is still uncertain.  The official forecast does bring Fay up to minimal hurricane strength, while tracking it northward over the peninsula, then westward over southern GA/AL.  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT06/refresh/AL0608W5+gif/094742W_sm.gif

But, as you can see here: http://euler.atmos.colostate.edu/~vigh/guidance/northatlantic/track_early1.png, there's a still a bit of model differences in the forecast track.  Some models bring it up to hurricane strength, even approaching CAT2-3 at landfall near the GA/FL border in a couple of days.

The easterly wave we've been tracking (exited Africa on Aug 13) is now at 38W and forecast to continue heading WNW and gradually strengthening.  This could be a big player in a week or so.  The next name on the list is Gustav.  

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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