I think it's going to hit Tampa as a 75mph Hurricane monday Evening. Why do I think that you ask?
I think you're on target with all of your points, Mark, but.. the front in question will steer it south of Tampa, more toward the area where Wilma hit, which is what is forecast (shocking that I'm actually agreeing with the NHC forecast on this one!).
Based upon the IR4 loop over the last couple of hours, I'm afraid Gamma may pull a Wilma and strengthen rapidly, if it's not already doing it. What looked like a sick mass of loosely-coupled clouds earlier this afternoon (about the time the recon info came back which resulted in the upgrade to Gamma) is now coming together rather nicely this evening with much colder cloud tops. It's certainly not Wilma-like right now, but, well, nothing would shock me. Personally, I *expect* Gamma to top out as a Cat 1-2 storm and weaken to a strong T.S. or Cat 1 at landfall somewhere over the Everglades.
Eloise (1975) - Elena and several other near misses (1985) - Erin & Opal (1995) - Ivan (2004)
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