Tropical Storm Fay 2008-2

Fays Struggles as it Interacts with Cuba

At 10:00am CDT –

– A Hurricane Watch is posted along the west coast of Florida
northward to Anna Maria, Island. A Hurricane Watch is also posted
from the Florida Keys south of Ocean Reef to Key West.

– A Tropical Storm Warning continues for the Florida Keys.

– The center of Tropical Storm Fay was located 350 miles southeast of
Key West, Florida. Movement is towards the west-northwest 13mph and a
turn towards the northwest is expected later today. Maximum sustained
winds are near 50mph and Fay is forecast to strengthen later today and
especially after it crosses Cuba. Minimum surface pressure is 1003mb.

– Tropical Storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.

Discussion:

Fay is not at all impressive on satellite this morning with Infrared
imagery showing that a lot of the colder cloud tops have dissipated
this morning. Additionally, morning visible loop shows that outflow
is restricted in the western semicircle. Since Fay is within Cuba's
territory, the Hurricane Hunters cannot get a pass through the system.
The noted satellite trends may be temporary, but I'd certainly think
that Fay will have a tough time gaining much strength until it gets
away from Cuba tomorrow. After that time the intensity forecast is
rather complex and is also dependent on the ultimate track.

I waited until the NHC discussion came out this morning to verify my
thinking, it is nice when we agree. I have to concede to their track
forecast as the center of the guidance envelope is the Gulf Coast of
Florida, just south of Tampa Bay. However, it should be noted that
the models are in serious disagreement with several of them stalling
Fay in the eastern Gulf by Tuesday. At this point, attempting to
pinpoint a landfall area would be premature. However, NHC must issue
watches and warnings, so they have little choice. Do not focus on the
landfall spot as the error cone is from Miami, Florida to Pensacola.

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About Putnam Reiter

Putnam has been storm chasing since 1990 and is a co-founder of Hook-Echo.com. For his day job, Putnam works in emergency management for information technology.
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