Sunday, August 17, 2008

XXBN.Crown Weather Forecaster Rob Lightbown, Live with Latest on Tropical Storm Fay

17 August 2008
Live tropical storm Fay update 10:00 AM today
Tropical Weather Discussion
Issued: Sunday, August 17, 2008 735 am EDT
from Crown Weather Services

Crown Weather Forecaster Rob Lightbown live with an update on Fay 10:00 AM Sunday August 17, 2008, www.xxbnradio.comBrenneman Airplane

If you miss the show live, check out the archives

Fay is located near the southeast coast of Cuba as of this morning. All indications are that Fay is now tracking west-northwest at a forward speed of 13 mph. The track model guidance envelope has actually spread out with the latest model data as the global models have very different ideas regarding the steering flow over the next two to three days. The European model is forecasting a weaker high pressure ridge and a trough of low pressure dipping south into the northern Gulf of Mexico, which ultimately turns Fay northeastward over south Florida on Monday night and Tuesday before stalling it in the western Atlantic later this week into this weekend. The GFDL and HWRF models also show a path across the Florida Peninsula. Most of the remaining guidance, including the GFS and UKMET turn Fay northward in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico to the east of a mid- to upper-level cutoff low forecast to be over the Southern Plains.

Satellite imagery indicates that the organization of the inner core of Fay is improving. The overall environment around Fay is still very favorable and all indications are that Fay will be near or at hurricane strength when it reaches central Cuba late tonight. Once Fay gets into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico around midday Monday, Fay is expected to intensify some more and is expected to reach hurricane strength before coming ashore. My thoughts on exact strength and where Fay may come ashore are found in the next paragraph.

This remains a very difficult and frustrating forecast as any shifts in the track of Fay has large implications on the exact location of landfall on the west coast of Florida. Basically, the smallest shift in track could mean the difference between a landfall up in the eastern Florida Panhandle or a landfall near or just south of Tampa. I did note that the 3 BAM models do have Fay making landfall all the way up into the western Florida panhandle. That solution will be discounted for now, however, it is definitely in the back of my mind.

At this point, I think Fay will track very near, if not over Key West, Florida on Monday evening as a strong tropical storm or borderline Category 1 hurricane. After that, Fay should parallel the west coast of Florida on Monday night and come ashore somewhere between Taylor and Dixie Counties and Fort Myers sometime on Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane. Due to large spread in the model guidance, my thinking for a forecast track continues to be low confidence, so it's best to keep track of the latest updates with Fay.

For the Florida Keys: Sustained tropical storm force winds are expected to reach the lower Florida Keys around midday Monday and affect most of the Florida Keys Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Sustained hurricane force winds are quite possible over the Florida Keys on Monday evening.

For South Florida: Tropical storm to hurricane force winds peaking in the 50 to 75 mph range are possible along the Collier County coast particularly on Tuesday morning with conditions beginning to deteriorate on Monday evening and gradually improving by late Tuesday. For the Mainland Monroe, Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, peak winds of 35 to 50 mph are expected from late Monday night into early Tuesday morning with conditions beginning to deteriorate late Monday afternoon and beginning to improve by late Tuesday morning.

Further up the west coast of Florida, hurricane force winds are possible near where Fay comes ashore on Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday evening. This area of possible hurricane force winds currently is in an area stretching from Cedar Key south to Fort Myers. Hurricane Watches have not been issued for this area as of yet, however, I expect them to be issued either later this morning or sometime this afternoon.

Hurricane Watches have been issued for the Florida Keys and parts of South Florida. For detailed information regarding these watches and preparatory advice, please refer to our tropical weather page. All interests in the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys should monitor the progress of Fay very closely.

The next tropical weather discussion will be issued by 8 pm EDT This Evening.

Click For Tropical Weather Information

Prepared by Rob Lightbown, Crown Weather Services
Disclaimer: All forecasts herein are made to the best ability of the forecaster. However, due to standard forecasting error, these forecasts cannot be guaranteed. Any action or inaction taken by users of this forecast is the sole responsibility of that user.

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