Thursday, October 20, 2005

Florida Prepares

As uncertainty continues to surround the eventual track and strength of Wilma, news reports this morning show preparations in Florida are under way. Weary residents in Punta Gorda have a look of dismay and frustration as they prepare for another hurricane 14 months after Charley ravaged that area. This morning Wilma continues to track slightly west of the NHC forecast track. It looks as though Wilma may come dangerously close to the Cancun region of the Yucatan Peninsula. Models continue to show a southwest Florida hit, but now it is delayed until Monday AM. This has prompted officials in the state to delay evacuations by 1 day. The ever changing atmosphere and battle between a 2 High pressures on either side of Wilma are making the forecast very difficult. The northward turn has still yet to happen. The best case for Florida would be for the hurricane to actually move over the Yucatan peninsula, so the storm structure is disrupted by land. We still don't know if this will happen. A return to a Category 5 status is possible in the next 24 hours once the eyewall replacement cycle is complete. We will continue to watch the 6 hour model runs and forecast tracks from the NHC. Long range forecast still show Wilma impacting the New England area with copious amounts of moisture late next week.


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