03:28 PM EDT - 18 April 2001
One of the more accurate forecasting models used for 72 hour hurricane projections got another upgrade this year. This time, the GFDL Model is up with some new improvements, including the improvements made to the AVN model, and the usage of the Princeton Ocean model. More accurate formulas for wind prediction, moisture initialization. In other words, the model will hopefully be a bit more accurate this year than in the past. Still, models are just a tool and should only compliment, but not replace common sense projections.
Fires in Lake, Marion, and near Sarasota have flared up in the continued dry (and now cool) Florida. With wind still somewhat breezy, it will remain that way for now. The fire in St. Cloud was caused by someone burning garbage that did not completely get extinguished (a week ago even).
A few folks have been asking when we will make our guesses as to what the season will bring, so look for that the first week in May. In my humble opinion, Dr. Gray's predictions are the best thing going right now. But I'll elaborate on that in May.
On the technical side, we've shed PHP3 in favor of 4, along with a load of new server side features in our web server. So we're updating that. We've changed chat interface types, and if you are interested in looking you can click on the "Live chat" link. Sometimes (not often) we'll be in there, and if a storm is approaching land, it's almost a certain thing. Even more improvements are coming.