Oct 232005
 

It is amazingly quiet here today. As of 4PM there is no wind, and while it has been overcast all day, we have yet to have even a drop of rain.

The NOAA forecast track is, as you might expect, beginning to narrow, (and here is a cool animated tracking map on MSNBC) hand has been moved more to the south with landfall right at Naples. However, the main wind field comes off the eye like a giant egg shape with the widest end going out to the northeast. That is going to bring sustained tropical storm force winds through Tampa. The NOAA forecast models still seem to have some disagreement on the forward speed of the storm. Landfall looks like it will happen around 7AM or 8AM tomorrow, and will probably be a category two storm (although some of the NOAA models say there’s a chance it will minimally be a category 3 storm). Most forecasts say we’ll start seeing increased winds during the late evening and continuing through noon tomorrow.

I had put everything away earlier this week, and we have water, food and gas for the generator. I’m going out in a few minutes to gas up the car. That will serve as a "reserve" gas tank for the generator. I’ll pull the generator out later. It is very heavy and cumbersome, so you would not want to be wrestling with that during a downpour. I have a tarp to cover it, and will use one of those bungee straps to hold it on.

Otherwise, it is a very quiet afternoon. Along with a stop at the gas station, I’m going to make a run to the grocery store. We’ve had so much warning, I’m hoping it won’t be a zoo there. Its not that we need much of anything, but they have Coke products on sell at the Albertson’s.

Lay is napping, and I’m watching the San Diego vs. Philadelphia football game.

UPDATED: 10PM — It finally started raining right at 7PM tonight. It has poured rain several time, and been a steady shower in-between. The latest forecast says the increasing intensity will be there, but it will be slower than first expected, so probably a category 2 on landfall tomorrow morning.

Oct 222005
 

I obviously have not been posting a lot lately. I was traveling for work some this week, and had a very interesting trip I’ll write more about later. I may have plenty of time tomorrow to do some updates to the blog.

In the meantime, I thought I would provide an update on Hurricane Wilma based on the most recent NOAA information. How much impact there is on Tampa remains a bit uncertain. Not unusually, with about two days to go before landfall, the “cone of uncertainty” is still a bit large.

The storm has drifted pretty erratically and slowly for quite some time. Yesterday it moved across Cozumel and then onto the Yucatan Peninsula. The slow movement helped weaken the storm, which is good for us, but very bad for those parts of Mexico. It has now settled into a slow northward drift, and is about to emerge into the Gulf. It will have a chance to re-strengthen then, and a low pressure trough dipping down will bring us some cooler weather later in the week, and pick up Wilma and start accelerating her toward Florida. This will also create shear that will hopefully weaken the storm as it approaches.

Right now, the forecast track brings the storm onshore somewhere in South Florida sometime on Monday. According to the NOAA discussion, the computer models have come into some disagreement, and the track has been moved slightly north. North is not good for us, but it still keeps the center of the storm well to our south. Earlier, the models had the storm coming onshore as a Category 1 or 2. Apparently, less shearing is expected, so now the forecast says a Category 2 or 3 when it comes onshore.

It is also projected that, as the shearing occurs, the wind field of the storm will expand, so we will pretty much be getting tropical storm force winds here in Tampa on Monday. That’s assuming the storm stays pretty much on the current forecast track. We will certainly get rain, but that won’t be bad, as we need some rain. I’m guessing this will probably start sometime tomorrow afternoon. It’s been cloudy most of today, but no rain so far.

Weather forecast by WP Wunderground & Denver Snow Removal