3PM EDT Update Wilma is still moving northeast, and beginning to accellerate. It is moving at 12MPH. It's eventual landfall intensity is still in question. There are valid reasons for it to weaken (shear, fast forward motion) and valid reason for it to strengthen (water temperatures, eyewall reformation) so the best guess is to see it at a category 2, but it would be wise to prepare for a category 3.
The track is still set for landfall near Naples, with a large area on either side of the storm feeling hurricane to tropical storm force winds. The windfield will likely expand so expect winds to pick up tonight along the peninsula. Sooner in the keys, which already have some rainbands approaching. Folks should be using today to prepare.
The Cancun radar recording has been stopped, and a new recording from the Key West radar has been started here.
447AM EDT Update Not too much has changed since last night, the track was shifted just a bit south, but the warnings cover the entire previous watch area. The large windfield will still be an issue. It looks like a Category 2 or 1 at landfall is the most likely scenario now.
Hurricane Wilma is moving slowly Northeastward. Still no significant increase in strength.
Hurricane Warnings have been extended North of Jupiter Inlet to Titusville. Hurricane Warnings are now in effect from Longboat Key southward to the Florida Keys, including Dry Tortugas and Florida Bay. And from Titusville southward to the Florida Keys, including Lake Okeechobee.
Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect from: Steinhatchee River to Longboat Key on the West Coast. And From Flagler Beach to Titusville on the FL East Coast.
A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect fromFernandina Beach to Flagler Beach on the Florida East Coast.
130AM EDT Update Hurricane Wilma is back over the Gulf, and the timeline has pushed warnings into the Florida coastline, from Longboat Key (just west of Sarasota) southward, throughout the keys to Jupiter Inlet on the east coast of Florida. A Hurricane warnings means that hurricane conditions may likely be seen within 36 hours, or in this case Monday. morning (Late Sunday for the Keys)
The remainder of the Hurricane Watch Area (up to Titusville) will likely be upgraded in the morning, as it currently falls outside the 36 hour window.
The forecast track takes it near or just around Naples (this official track has been very consistant for days now) across the state and exiting near Fort Pierce, a little north of where Frances and Jeanne made landfall last year. Right now I do not see any reason to doubt that general track. The angle of approach is nowhere near as oblique as Charley was (Map showing Charley and Wilma) so that also improves the odds of Wilma's forecast track being fairly close.
The bottom line, however is that anyone in the Hurricane Warning area needs to prepare for hurricane force winds. The Hurricane center is expecting a Category 2 or 3 system upon landfall. Wilma at that time will be accelerating quickly over Florida so there is not much time for it to weaken before it reaches the East Coast. So the winds will be an issue throughout the direct path. Tropical Storm Force winds likely will be felt over a large area of the Peninsula, and Hurricane force in a smaller area near the center of Wilma.
Because of the size of Wilma storm surge may be a larger issue than Charley of last year, which was a much more compact, but stronger system.
Listen to local officials and media for more information on your specific area, and if you are in the Hurricane Warning area use tomorrow to prepare. At the very least picking up loose items outside.
More to come tomorrow morning.
Tropical Storm Alpha is moving northwest and will likely move over Hispaniola sometime tomororw, then eventuall be dragge dnorthward and be absorbed by a transitioning Wilma later in the week.
Web based Video and Audio Many websites require realplayer for video and audio, you can get real player here or an alternative real media player here (Ie WinXp64)
Jim Williams, from Hurricane City and West Palm Beach, will likely be doing his live audio show as Wilma approaches on hurricanecity. Listen here He usually starts at 8PM eastern and runs until the 11PM advisory comes out.
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