If you are tracking Ivan, you will see that he stayed on a more westerly track over the course of the weekend. He is still a very powerful storm, and will most certainly graze Cuba, and most likely will hit the U.S. sometime Thursday along the Alabama, Florida panhandle coast if the NOAA track verifies. As it looks now, his path will take him well to the west of the Tampa Bay area. We will most likely see a lot of rain and some windy conditions, but may not even have tropical storm force winds.
Probably, about the only thing we have to worry about is the Low Pressure ridge pushing down from the central U.S. that will begin steering Ivan. If that starts pushing in early and hard, the path will bend more to the east, and landfall may be near the Big Bend area. This would certainly incease Ivan’s impact on our area.
It could potentially push it eastward far enough to bring it in on us, so we’re remaining prepared. I have the sandbags for the back door, and the usual supply of batteries and food staples. We also have a hotel reservation in Orlando. I’ll be watching closely today, and if the track holds, we will cancel that later today. I’m not letting my guard down just yet.
In any case, people are getting pounded by this storm. I have a feeling the Red Cross and other relief agencies are most likely being strapped for money at this point. It might not hurt to pull out the old checkbook if you can help. I know the Methodist Church has a relief operation going here, and you can get money to them through the Palma Ceia United Methodist Church site.