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.