The 5 p.m. NHC forecast path seems to already have built into it an initial west of north path, then more poleward, then more east after landfall around the Ala-Miss border. If the storm is at this point moving north (rather than west of north as in the 5 p.m. path), does it not follow that even if the ridge builds in, the speed is correct, blah blah blah, landfall must be east of the projected path? And, if so, it would seem that the longer it moves poleward before moving to the left a bit, the further east the projected landfall would have to be.
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