We are in the Gainesville area and are watching the model plots quite closely. Husband and I are in a debate as to which storm scenario is worse for the state. He argues that the NOAA model, making a direct hit on Lake Okechobee as she barrels up the center of the peninsula, would be worse because she'll directly affect more people and property. However, I contend that landfall would significantly weaken the eye faster; rather, the path projected by virtually every other model (showing it scraping up the coast and keeping the eye over open water) would be more damaging because nothing would dampen her power. I guess it all depends on when Irma decides to take the snowbird route and head North. Then again, I keep musing on the path of Floyd in 1999, which again scraped the coast of Florida but didn't have an entirely devastating impact because the eye was so far East of the coast. Irma looks to be on a trajectory which puts her eye closer to the beaches. In any case, I'm guessing that we won't be gassing up the truck and traveling TO St. Augustine to witness the storm (as we crazily did in '99).
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