Sunday, August 17, 2008

Getting WAY to close for comfort...

THIS IS STILL A BIG WAIT AND SEE GAME..Remember the 2004 season Hurricane Charley was expected to hit Tampa Bay and at the last second hit south and came thru the state up into Orlando....

according to
Forecasters extended a hurricane watch north to Tarpon Springs (we are just a bit south of this) as Tropical Storm Fay grazed the southern coast of Cuba and headed on a path that could take the storm just west of Pinellas County as a hurricane.

The forecast track for the storm shifted Sunday afternoon to take Fay over the Gulf of Mexico west of the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday evening with winds near 85 mph and close enough to possibly bring hurricane force winds to the coast.

The change in track exposes the Tampa Bay area to more a more serious storm surge threat than if the storm crawled up the peninsula east of Tampa as earlier forecasts predicted.

In addition, the different track would put the Tampa Bay area on the eastern side of the storm, where the winds are strongest and extend farthest from the center.

On the latest track, Fay would likely pass about 30 miles west of Pinellas at roughly 8 p.m. on Tuesday after crossing Cuba and going west of the Keys.

That would expose much of Pinellas and coastal counties to the north to possible hurricane-force winds of 75 mph or higher, and from Sarasota County north to sustained tropical storm winds of more than 40 mph.

The hurricane center expects winds of about 40 mph to extend more than 100 miles from the storm's center about the time it heads by the Tampa Bay area.