First to Mary: I saw that too, and you are correct in saying that they usually don't mention that. The fact that they are concerned about the Peace River flooding in Bartow tells a tale in itself. They must be thinking that it will be near enough to our coast line here that we will at the very least get the feeder bands which will directly affect our weather.
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the NHC say that EVERYONE from Mexico to Florida should be watching this carefully? That tells me one thing: that THEY are looking for consistency in the runs and they are not getting it. It is indeed just below the Keys in 72 hours, if you plot the coordinates. It also appears that it has taken a jog a bit more to the NNW as it is closer to Jamaica than it was predicted to be BY the models. I believe that would be why the NHC official track is to the RIGHT of the guidance envelope. I have not seen them mention one single time that Florida is out of the woods, and until they do I am not writing this one off.
Another thing: if it is moving at 7mph, it's not the fastest storm I've ever seen but it IS moving. Which means that it will be going SOMEWHERE for at least another day. The strike probablities went up for Key West from 17% to 22%; Tampa from 7% to 10%. If they thought this was going to turn to the west as dramatically as some here think it is, those probabiliies would have gone down, not up. For the time being, until given the all clear by the NHC, all residents along the GOM from Texas to Florida should be watching this thing very carefully. It may go west at some point, but for now the uncertainty is too great to just blow it off. To do so would be foolish and unless someone here is equipped with a crystal ball, I don't think any of us know for certain where it will go.
Timing and position will be the key here. If it moves further north faster, watch out Florida. If it slows down dramatically, everything is up in the air. We don't know the answers to a lot of questions yet, that's for sure. But if it DOES make it's trip to the north quicker, it's going to get messy here in Florida.
-------------------- You know you're a hurricane freak when you wake up in the morning and hit "REFRESH" on CFHC instead of the Snooze Button.
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