Tropical Storm Fay 2008-3

Fay Organizing South of Cuba

At 7:00pm CDT –

– Hurricane Watch continues for parts of Florida.

– Tropical Storm Warning continues for parts of Florida.

– the center of Tropical Storm Fay was located 265 miles
south-southeast of Key West, Florida. Movement is towards the
west-northwest at 10mph and a turn towards the northwest and
eventually north is expected within the next 24 hours. Maximum
sustained winds are near 50mph. Minimum surface pressure is 1001 mb.

– Tropical Storm force winds extend outward to 105 miles from the center.

Discussion:

Fay's organization has improved dramatically today as noted by 1)
NHC's report, 2) IR/Water Vapor imagery, and 3) the central pressure
lowering. If Fay was not so close to land, I'd certainly think that
intensification would be likely. However, it is very close to Cuba
and will cross said country during the next 12-18 hours. This should
not disrupt Fay too much, but will certainly impact the
intensification process. Another consideration is that the current
50mph status may be a little generous. Outflow has improved during
the day in the western semicircle, but is still restricted by the
upper level low to the west of Fay. There doesn't seem to be as much
dry air near Fay as earlier and this will probably help. All things
considered, NHC's intensity looks good with Fay a low-end Cat 1
hurricane by late Monday.

The track forecast remains very complex and the 2-day error cone is
still quite large, but maybe normal for all I know. I rarely pay
attention to it. NHC has shifted the forecast to the west such that
landfall is now north of Tampa Bay. I'm not gonna miss with it as
this is well within chaos at this point. The forecast parameters are
still the same as the low/mid level ridge to the north of Fay should
weaken and allow it to turn north. I really don't like it when they
nudge the forecast 30 miles this way or that way. It is pointless 2-3
days out. Despite my likes and dislikes, the Gulf Coast of Florida
looks to receive the most impact from Fay.

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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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