3PM Ivan is left of the NHC forecast a bit, and models are starting to trend more westward... again. It will be a long week folks.
2PM Reports of heavy damage in the Cayman Islands as well as storm surge flooding.
Noon Just in case you wanted a bit more dash of confusion, the global models have shifted a bit east around noon. I'll wait on the trends and the motion of the storm. And at the same time, the storm has wobbled left of the NHC's track a bit.
11AM Tropical Storm watches are up for the Keys, the NHC track remains the same. Watch for the turn today, model guidance suggests it. Intensity forecasts are equally as problematic as the track.
There really isn't any overwhelming reason to doubt the NHC's track, although it hinges on a Northwestward turn later today.
Original Update Hurricane Ivan this morning is Southwest of the Cayman islands, again going south of and west of the forecast track from yesterday. The slower motion also adds uncertainty, and pushes out the possible timeline. Assuming it does turn north, weíd be looking for a US landfall Wednesday night or Thursday.
Ivan is still sneaking westward now, and the slower and further west it goes the more of a monkey wrench it throws into the 5 day forecast. It already has thrown it off a bit. The cone of error due to itís slow movement is huge. Itís possible for the storm to get very close to the Yucatan now before it might make its northward turn (if at all).
Weíll be looking for gains in latitude today, for the future track of Ivan. Itís persistently been left of the track so far, and the trend may continue. However, once it does make a northward turn it could head back east some, so the entire Gulf still needs to watch it. Ivan is being a pain and I can almost guarantee a few more surprises before itís over with. Look for movement northward to begin before the day is over with, and if it does not, all bets are off.
Large storms on this scale (strong Category 5ish) tend to do what they want at these latitudes Ė ďignoringĒ climatology, so itís not too surprising that the forecasts have been off. Itís great news for Grand Cayman. But the slower the forward motion the more uncertainty where it will go. Today, the future track of Ivan is still shaky at best. But the most likely landfall remains the Florida Panhandle, but the confidence in that is so low at the moment, itís hardly worth mentioning.
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