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Wilma pounding Cozumel

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:21 PM GMT on October 21, 2005

Hurricane Wilma's western eyewall is battering Cozumel Island today with sustained winds of 145 mph. Cancun radar shows the west eyewall touching Cozumel, and some intense rainbands affecting Cancun and the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula with rains of over one inch per hour. Wind measurements from the Cancun and Cozumels airports are not available, and we have to rely on the hurricane hunters for wind information. The latest aircraft report at 6:10 am showed no signs that the storm was weakening yet, and Wilma still has a few hours to intensify slighty before the center moves over land.

As Wilma continues north-northwest at 4 mph today, the large eye of the storm should come ashore near Cancun, bringing enormous devastation to the 50-mile wide section of coast exposed to the intense winds of the hurricane's eyewall. A long period of calm lasting up to seven hours will accompany the passage of the slow-moving eye, givng residents the only respite from the storm they are likely to get for the next two days. During these next two days, Wilma will wander erratically over or just offshore the Yucatan. This will expose structures in the hurricane zone to very long duration hurricane force winds, creating far more destruction than Category 4 Hurricane Emily did earlier this year, or Category 5 Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Wilma may be Mexico's most expensive hurricane disaster ever. Wilma's rains will add to the misery, reaching 20 inches or more over not just the Yucatan, but the western tip of Cuba as well.

Figure 2. Computer model tracks for Hurricane Wilma.

How will Wilma affect Florida?
During the next two days, steady weakening of the storm should occur due to interaction with land. In addition, wind shear and dry air are beginning to increase over the northwest side of the storm, and should work together to steadily reduce Wilma's strength. When the trough of low pressure expected to pick up Wilma finally does sweep her east towards Florida, wind shear will be quite high and increasing, leading to continued steady weakening. The final strength of Wilma at landfall in south Florida could still range from Category 3 to tropical storm. It all depends upon how much time Wilma spends over water. If the UKMET model is right, Wilma will spend very little time over land, and arrive at Florida as a Category 3 hurricane. If the GFDL model is right, Wilma will spend more than two days over land and weaken to a tropical storm, and eventually move across Cuba as a tropical storm, missing Florida entirely.

Given all these factors, I don't see any reason to change the range of probabilities I gave yesterday for Florida. I'd give Wilma a 10% chance of arriving on the Florida west coast as a Category 3 or higher storm, 20% as a Category 2, 40% as a Category 1, and 30% as a tropical storm. On Florida's east coast, knock these value down by half a Category (10 - 15 mph).

The timing of this expected blow on Florida is still difficult to pin down. Some models are now indicating Wilma may not hit Florida until Tuesday. What are the chances that Wilma will somehow move north and affect the Florida Panhandle, or portions of the Gulf Coast further west? Less than 1 in 1000. As we approach winter in the Northern Hemisphere, westerly winds associated with the Jet Stream move far to the south, making it very difficult for any storm to go any direction but east or northeast once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico.

After Florida, then what?
There is no change to the forecast. After crossing Florida, Wilma should bring tropical storm force winds to the northern Bahama Islands. Wilma should pass well offshore North Carolina, but close enough to bring tropical storm force winds to the Outer Banks. Wilma is expected to merge with a large low pressure system as she approaches Maine or Nova Scotia next week, and could bring tropical storm force winds to Cape Cod, Maine, and the Canadian Maritime provinces.

What's behind Wilma?
There is a large area of disorganized thunderstorms near 13N 63W, about 500 miles south-southeast of Puerto Rico. This area has gotten better organized since yesterday, and has some potential for slow development as it moves northwest towards Haiti. This system is primarily a threat to Haiti, eastern Cuba, and the Bahamas, and should recurve out to sea thereafter.

I'll be back this afternoon with the lastest. The Mexican weather service's web site is overloaded, so I am not including any links pointing to Cancun radar or other Mexican weather data.

Jeff Masters
Waves on Jamaica's Westerly tip
Waves on Jamaica's Westerly tip
These waves have battered Negril,Jamaica.
Caye Caulker Street
Caye Caulker Street
Hurricane Wilma came within 150 miles of Caye Caulker, Belize on Oct 20, 2005. We are 3/4 mile from the barrier reef where 20 ft + waves were crashing and splashing up to at least 40 feet! We only received 2-4 ft on shore. Some clean up, then back to: Go Slow in paradise!

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

I called it!
i'm still sticking with tampa monday! LOL

Thanks Dr. Masters! :)
ok, that still gives us anywhere to have
Dr. Masters: do you have an opinion on where in Florida you suspect she will make landfall and where she will exit?
Good morning, been lurking for 2 hours now...Still awaiting evacuation orders....Going crazy waiting!
I feel so sorry for the people being terrorized by this storm. Don't know if it could be any worse unless the east side of the hurricane passed over the Yucatan bringing even stronger gusts and possibly tornados. The cone of error for four days out is still approximately 600 miles wide. All the models have extreme South Florida targeted but the cone still has the Big Bend area to the north and Cuba to the South included. That's a wide range of possibilities.

The weaker hurricane strength and faster movement through Florida should be good news if it plays out that way, but I can't imagine the impact on Cozumel and Cancun. If Wilma does wander farther north towards the Big Bend, I would think the cooler waters and wind shear from the cold front would knock her strength down bigtime.
hmm wonder if vegas has any morning lines on landfall in fl?lol
Here is the latest satellite photo from Weather Channel. it looks to me like it is going to skirt just east of Cozumel and potentially miss the Yucatan penisula completely. Seems to be heading almost due north this morning. Link
Ldy I was not sure if you got to read it or not...
well here's some good news at least if it does slam us....

Utility companies say they are better prepared and better equipped to restore services after Hurricane Wilma than they were after last year's storms. They also have the workers at hand to start fixing lines as soon as danger has passed.

Florida Power & Light Co. and BellSouth have established faster and more sophisticated ways of responding to damage through what they learned from hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, company representatives said.
BellSouth has installed global positioning system devices in each van. Now, technicians don't have to depend on street signs or their knowledge of an area in order to drive to damaged lines and boxes.

"We want to be able to get them in, get them out and get them to the next place," said Marta Casas-Celaya, company spokeswoman.

BellSouth's manpower is not stretched thin despite Hurricane Katrina's damage to its lines and equipment on the Gulf Coast, also in the company's coverage area.

Phone service repairs start after electricity is restored.

FPL also has taken steps to improve its response to outages. The company can tap utilities in the United States and Canada that will lend repairmen as needed. Last year, the company brought in 17,000 workers to help with repair efforts in Florida, said company spokeswoman Pat Davis.

To speed repair work, the company recently set up wireless satellite communication systems so that supervisors can better direct communication between staging areas and the field.

Responding to complaints FPL heard after last year's hurricanes, the company has set up a system to give customers a better idea of when power will be restored. Within 24 hours after the storm, the company will report the degree of damage and estimate the restoration time for the total affected area. Within 48 hours, FPL expects to be able to give regional updates. And between 72 and 96 hours, the company says it should be able to give neighborhood-specific information to customers.
I got a weather station data in Cancun


Good morning all. I wonder how Cozumel is doing with the storm. If you've ever been there, they sure don't have the infrastructure for something this size. I sure hope they make it through ok.
the eye will go over the norther half of cozamel and come up into the tip putting cancun right where it doesnt want to be...but as for how long..not very...i see a slow down as it gets to the nothern coast and hesitating just offshore before heading northeastward...we will have to watch and see though..
jajuvera: tried your link but didn't seem to work. Can you repost - I have family there and am very interested.
ah man coconut.hope your family is ok.
went through, jajuvera.
Thoughts with your family coconut.
Thanks, Lady. They actually flew to Cancun with their two 20something daughters on WEDNESDAY. They moved them out of their oceanfront hotel into some elementary school in the interior part of cancun. They do have wood on the windows (better than nothing, I guess). No word from them since late yesterday.
Got it:

Click on "Datos de 10 minutos" , if you want to see the graphs you can check it out.
I heard last night that there would be a mandatory evacuation of Collier County beginning at noon EDT today, Friday, October 21. That doen't make sense to me. Collier County isn't as hard to evacuate as say Monroe County, and I haven't seen any recent forecast that has the area being hit before Monday. Isn't this too soon, especially since it's possible (although not very likely) that Collier County won't be hit at all?

October 21, 2005
Southwest Florida starts mandatory evacuation
Collier County commissioners approved a countywide state of emergency and a mandatory evacuation of all areas south and west of U.S. 41, according to the Naples Daily News.

In addition to coastal beach areas, the order covers residents in Goodland, Marco Island, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, Isles of Capri and Plantation Island. It begins today at noon.

Lee County officials encouraged people to leave the area if possible, suggesting evacuees head north to Charlotte County. Charlotte County is home to Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte -- hardest hit by last year's Hurricane Charley and also in the possible path of Wilma.

lol palmbeacher. That is very tempting. I'm sure they have odds on this. I was just looking at the 06z GFDL. Has cat 1 and cat 2 winds over SE FL coast Monday. Then add the forward speed of the storm to the south side wind speed. I wonder how big the wind field will be by then?
Toad: it may not be hard to evacuate but there are people from all over the state hitting the roads so maybe they are thinking about allowing them time to get to GA.
coconut i hope they get in touch with you as soon as they can.hope this thing gets pulled off of their coast quick
Me too, lady. I swear, they need to have their heads examined. They flew TO Cancun this on Wednesday. Apparently, in typical Floridian fashion, they have seen so many near misses that they thought it wouldn't hit. When they get back, after I hug them, I think I may need to smack them!!
Interesting data from Cancun. Basically, the wind has been pretty steady out of the northeast, with a slight backing to the north-northeast towards midnight October 20 (couldn't tell or didn't notice if those times were GMT or local); pressure continues to drop; latest was 989.20 mb, down from 989.50 mb the previous hour. No rain recorded, though, which is puzzling....(or is that a result of my inadequate Spanish?)
From Joe Bastardi, ACCUWEATHER.com

Tropics: Wilma spends 48 hours near or over Yucatan and becomes the worst storm ever damage-wise. Basically, it's the Yucatan's Katrina.

The storm reaches Florida MONDAY as a 100- to 120-mph HURRICANE and hits the Keys to Miami the worst. There is still some worry off the East Coast. New position post will come out later this morning.

The tropical wave in the southeast Caribbean may bide its time with possible central Caribbean development once Wilma is out of the way.
well i'm sure they weren't the only ones who went anyways.as for me i think i'd cancell.unless i knew i'd be in some strong shelter..then i'd go just to experience it
Cantore is in Key largo. Now we all finally know were the Storm will Hit :-)
anyone see the lastest nogaps model with the crazy loop

She is touching cozumel island now and will go straight over the top
NOW i'm worried the Keys....theres been a CANTORI sighting! He's on Key West! Jim Cantori is the Weather equivalent to a living example of Murphy's Law.
You can beleive this... After you hug them they will say to you we will never do that again and they also will say they will never stay for another one... That is what is ussally said after a storm of this size...

Just don't smack them around to much...LOL
Windy, when clicking on your link this is what I get...

This script should be referenced with a METHOD of POST. If you don't understand this, see this forms overview
weatherweasel he's in key largo.but you're right when he's around you know you're done for
Love that NHC discussion....they still do not know where landfall will be!!!
LdyAvalon, Here's a response to yoru post from the other string...

I think there is a potential that after making the turn (which should take 12-18 hours), the storm will "race" toward the peninsula, perhaps as rapidly as 16 mph. If so, I believe the mainland will be looking at an all-day Sunday event, as opposed to an early morning Monday event.
whether due to interaction with land or some other factors... the western portion of the inner core convection briefly weakened earlier this morning... but that did not last long. The ring of very deep convection has reconstituted around the entire 30 N mi wide eye... which has become a little clearer and warmer in satellite imagery. The Cancun radar depicts a very solid outer
eyewall over Cozumel... and the inner eyewall is likely weaker but perhaps not as weak as it seems on radar due to attenuation.
Passive microwave overpasses from AMSR-E and AMSU during the past few hours depict the outer eyewall at a radius of about 45 N mi... and earlier aircraft data contain wind maxima at radii of about 20 and 45 N mi. It is possible that the outer eyewall will contract and lead to intensification in the short term... but eyewalls with
this large of a diameter sometimes remain steady-state. Dvorak intensity estimates at 12z did not quite support the current advisory intensity of 125 kt... but that was before the deep convective ring reformed.

Wilma is located in between a mid-level ridge centered over western Mexico and a more extensive ridge over the subtropical Atlantic. The Atlantic ridge seemed to have more influence until very recently... when the north-northwestward motion slowed. The initial motion estimate is now northwestward...325/4...and the short term motion might be even slower. 12z upper-air data from this morning's NOAA G-IV jet surveillance mission indicate perhaps even a little more ridging over the Gulf of Mexico than contained in the short-term forecasts from the 06z models... so the slower motion now observed is not surprising. Nearly all of the dynamical models forecast the center of Wilma to make landfall on northeastern
Yucatan today... as does the official forecast. The models do not agree on how long Wilma will spend over land... and the new official forecast...while adjusted westward and slower than the previous advisory through 48 ours...remains to the east of most of the models and keeps Wilma on land for less than 18 hours. Obviously... a longer stay over Yucatan could cause more weakening
than forecast...but the opposite is also true. In the 3 to 5 day time frame...the new official forecast is basically unchanged. Fortunately for the sake of better agreement
among the models... the NOGAPS no longer keeps Wilma in the
Caribbean for five days and is now more in line with the remaining models. This results in the dynamical consensus being in fairly good agreement with the previous advisory at days 3-5. However...the spread in the models remains quite large... and both the location and timing of the impacts on Florida remain very uncertain. The new intensity forecast is very similar to the previous advisory in steadily weakening Wilma over the Gulf of
Mexico due primarily to increasing shear. However... if Wilma does not spend much time over Yucatan... it could be stronger than forecast when it crosses Florida.

Forecaster Knabb
will the angel of the grotto pull another one out?
with all these times I have been on here and have posted about every storm that we have had I still do not know how to do a link... can anyone tell me how???

Poor Cozumel! Hope no one is on the island!

Largo? I just watched a report where he was talking about the Fantasy Fest on Key West.

Also,Windy, does not work for me either.
Is the consensus still at Cat 3 at Florida landfall?
Although I'm noe very religous, my thoughts and prayors to the people of Cozumel. They are taking a sustain battering right now.
taco, when you post a comment there is a tab for links. a box pops up and then you copy and paste your link info.
lol Ldy, I think that
is what the NHC is doing.
I have and I keep hitting Key West or maybe the Cantore magnet... LOL
i hav updated my blog
Taco, I dunno what you know and dont know, so here ya go...

-First hit ctrl+c to copy the web address to which you want to link.

-Then type the text you'd like your link to be named, for example "Jeff Master's Blog"

-Next, highlight the text, "Jeff Master's Blog," with your mouse and click the "link" button above the box.

-Paste, ctrl+v, the copied web address into the little address box that pops up and hit ok, result is Jeff Master's Blog.
just shows you how powerfull mother nature is.with the billions spent on research we still have no idea what these things are going to do.the people at the nhc must be ready for prozac by now
ldy, I know I am ready for some!lol
ldy, after I threw my first dart, I don't like where it landed...do I get best out of 3? lol
Posted By: LdyAvalon at 11:20 AM EDT on October 21, 2005.
"just shows you how powerfull mother nature is.with the billions spent on research we still have no idea what these things are going to do.the people at the nhc must be ready for prozac by now"

WAY past Prozac. I do Believe we are at the Lithium stage now.
Thank you so much... I had no idea that links was there untill you told me I never look at that at all...
I try to read what I type so spelling is ok but I am hooked on phonics and I still don't spell it right... But now I know how to post a link so I will try to stay up with everybody...LOL

I said that last year after all of the storms hitting FL that as a hurricane preparation they should hand out Xanax while you are in line at the gas pumps!!!
JenD, looks like Orlando's okay if the Weather Channel deployed the ol' Cantore and he's nowhere near O'town. . .
at least we're all laughing about it now. i wonder how many couples will break up this week in sotuh florida due to hurricane stress? thank god we already had the full moon lol
No prozac at home, will a fifth of Jack Daniels work just as well?
Taco...Your welcome, I am a newbie, so glad I could help!
wonder if the liquor stores are running low yet?
how about a fifth of Jack and Xanax, if this
does hit, you wouldn't care anyway!lol
ah oh.just read on cnn that anderson cooper is set to broadcast from somewhere in sotuh florida tonight
I don't know, Ldy, but nine months after Charley hit, the population of SWFLA exploded with all these babies conceived in the week after Charley. Personally, I could barely stand wearing clothes in the week we were without power and sweltering, much less engaging in any activities that would increase the population of my household. . .
ldy, hes as bad of a magnet
as Cantore. Hope he stays
lmao sway
swaywithme, we had that happen
over here on the east side as
well, after Frances and Jeanne. And you
are right, too hot to be doing that!
I will try and see if I can get it to work and thank you so much too...

While I know that it is bad luck to have Cantori anywhere near your neighborhood. I wouldn't mind having him or Cooper at my house - what a couple of hotties! Sorry - off topic, but WOW!
Mayfield is on TWC
5 million a day lost in fantasy fest revenue.this could destroy key west
Palm & Ldy -- in the spirit of Cancun & cozemel, how about a few rounds of Tequila for the forecasters. They could sure use that now
Mayfeild is on TWC again...
i agree vero.i wouldn't kick either of them out of my bed
Max Mayfield on now on Fox News
1 shot per hour!
Poor Max, he dont know what
to say.
how many times will max say "ah"
I think I can handle a shot per hour, so I'm in! Probably not a good idea to start now, being at work and all...although my boss wouldn't care!
they have noooo clue
lol ldy, he is fumbling
bad, worse than usual.
i have a sick feeling this is worse then they are saying.anyone else feel that way

Now Tell if it worked Tanks
Taco :-)
All right, I get to try to post to this board again. :-p

Wilma Thoughts

1.) Key West will be fine. They've got cruise ships, and about 95 to 120 days of something we here in the north call "not winter".

2.) Cozumel and Cancun will NOT be fine, and frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of fatalities in Mexico exceeds Katrina. In my most optimistic view, I can't see 25 - 35 foot waves on an island less than 10 feet above sea level -- for hours and hours and hours -- resulting in anything less. Unfortunately, the toll may include significant numbers of tourists.

3.) A category 3 storm hitting Florida at this point is only likely at this point if Wilma pulls a 90 degree turn to the right. Category 2 is well within the range of reason.
Taco, I got it...Congrats!
OMG tanks no that is to be THANKS...LOL
oh nice.pawn off the decision to evacuate to each person personally..
Is the consensus still at Cat 3 at Florida landfall?
Ldyavalon - Unfortunately, I agree with you....:(
cane i still think it will be a strong cat2 or 3 at landfall
someone else was talking about Wilma threading the needle. . . I just pulled up the CNN video of jacqui jeras and it looked like the eye wobbled north instead of northwest. i do wonder what this will mean for us in FL in a few (agonizing) days. . .
they all look a little too worried.the look on their face is not matching with the forecast they say for weaker storm...
I counted 15 and maybe even more than that...LOL
He is up to 38 "ah" now
lol taco.
now i wonder when jeb is gonna come on.his face doesn't hide anything.
OP M G now that is so True...LMAO @ Ldy
Now "AH" 72 and still going...LOL
Looking at the Cancun weather, winds are at 130 gusting to 150 coming out of the NE and the pressure is down to 981. But I have no idea what zone the time stamp is?
I still anticipate a weak CAT 3 skirting by the keys (eye to the north, then mainland entry between Flamingo and Naples. Anyone else with me?
and we can Jebs expressions
in English and in Spanish!
Posted By: windymiller at 3:19 PM GMT on October 21, 2005.
Scenario...You got drunk in your hotel bar 2 days ago
You wake up and wonder why the lights dont work in your room but as your head hurts so bad you dont really care. You pack your beach bag, and stroll out of the hotel - not a soul in sight but its a lovely, still, clear morning.
You walk down to the beach and cant understand where everybody is but dont really care. You put your towel on the ground, facing west, and see some storm cloudes in the background racing away.
You put on your iPod and lay in the sunshine.

You dont see the other eye wall behind you.............

Max says, "everything we see says it's still coming."

His timeline estimate:

Sunday evening center is off NW coast of Cuba, possibly bringing TS winds to Keys beginning Sunday night. TS Watch probably beginning Saturday for Keys.

Intensity guess was a weakening Cat 2 as it crosses Fl. or Fl. Straits.

Jeb gave me a sick feeling in my stomach yesterday...
LMAO weatherdude
taco-final "ah" count?
Hi every body!! Some body know about the "little" tropical wave in the south east from Puerto Rico? I have suspect of tha can be the next Tropical Depresion
LMAO too weatherdude!!
anyone know of any wpb tv stations that show their noon forecast online?
106 "AH" finish...LMAO
anybody been on Lefty's blog lately? I can't get to it! Maybe I'm doing to many things at once to concentrate! LOL
omg taco.he needs a public speaking course
ldy go to wptv.com
The "little tropical wave" SE of Puerto Rico is known as "99LINVEST". Which means they are watching it for development....Alpha?
yah buckeye, I'm in Lefty's Blog as we speak.
stormchaser, I agree to the north track. I know it's to early to tell, but at this point anything goes with this one. My first prediction was Tampa, I am going to stick with that until I see something that will change my mind.
palmbeacher is there a link somewhere on that page?
I think the UKMET model is right on.
thanks willjax!! you are "da bomb"!
Wiljax: Thank you for that amazing image. Also amazing that nobody really knows where Wilma will go next; I've heard sneaking back through the Straits of Fl as a TS, hitting Ft Myers as a Cat 3; timing from Sunday to Tuesday. I can't tell you that any of those forecasts is obviously wrong, and I'm not sure anyone else can.

Poor Cozumel.

Maybe we have a new depresion there and is movin wnw to the Hispaniola or the west side from Puerto Rico. I sure can be the next depresion in the next 6 or 12 hours. most of the model take that in a wnw motion and can be to the tropical storm Alpha in the next 24 hour. Puerto Rico is a posible threat to that disturbance.
Not sure, Maybe to the left of the page.
damn can't find anything there
And you know who needs a writing course: JOE BASTARDI.

a "106 ah finish?" LMFAO! so true!
Off topic....95 south bound in
PSL shut down, bad accident. Just
an FYI for yall up that way.
thanks palmbeacher i'll take the turnpike lol
thanks weatherdude :)
all the atentions is in Wilma and the is forgot the other tropical systems. Why?
land interaction happening now....her strength should drop a bit at the next advisory...
Hello, all. I've been reading these blogs for the past couple days, very intersting as I am in a hurricane zone for the first time. I just moved to FL in August, all very crazy, very intersting, not sure how to react to the hype, or what's hype and not. Anyway, this has been so informative, very nice and helpful! I'd like to pass along a site I found, great hurricane readiness info, maybe a few things not generaly thought of. Might save lives, just doing my part. Thanks again!

puertoricoboy - I really haven't heard too much about any other possible storms yet..
Welcome sarasotack and thanks!
ugh, nice spelling, I can spell; no edit, need edit ;~)
Wiljax, you are so right and the University of South Alabama has that course...
I am in Tampa, and we are gonna get blasted. It came to me in a dream. How's that for a scientific approach?

Jeff Master is laying "1000 to 1" that Wilma will take a more northern track. I have a 20 in my pocket!
Hey folks!
Just wondering if anyone is paying attention to the jet stream. The low pressure system and jet stream that are supposed to turn it severerly east are not where they said they would be. They are much farther north. I'm thinking it may turn east, but much farther north than expected.

How ironic you mention a more northern track. I feel its coming, and I have my bags packed.

Yah PRboy I've been watching that disturbance. It has now made it to the Caribbean, which is an important step, as SST's are still very warm and can definitely support another powerful storm (given the right upper level conditions). Shear is pretty high, but that can drop off very fast.

Thanks, VeroBeachNative :)
I'm in Panama City Beach. I don't think it's gonna hit here, but I am thinking more like the Big Bend area.
Jim Cantore is in Key Largo according to weather.com....

Clearly, we are screwed in S. Florida.

Even though we all know that there are so many variables affecting the models, do you think that BAMM and UKMET could be on a more relistic track than the others? They are heading straight to The Bahamas and bypassing mainland FL :(
BibBabu, funny you mention that b/c I had a dream two nights ago that I was watching the radar as Wilma made landfall NORTH of Tampa*!

*dream forecasting is an experiemental product, and is subject to large error.
Both your dreams could mean the next storm and not this one. Unless, of course, it had WILMA written across it. Then the hell with the proffesionals! LOL


Dreams are a funny thing. God bless FL.

Landfall just south of Tampa Bay.

That blob is supposed to recurve out to sea.. right?
anyone know where i can get a battry operated blender to keep the margaritas flowing after power outages lol
21..models are saying that it will..
hey all want to say try
to have a nice weekend. I am
getting out of work early! So if
I don't speak to any of you before or on Monday
and we do get Wilma, everyone stay safe, and dry!
Take care all.
Lady Avalon
Wally World has wonderful camping supplies! If the Don't have a batery operated blender then they have a converter that will attach to you car battery!
Blessed BE!
bye palmbeach..stay safe
katrina 3..i could just see my neighbors now.they would think i had totally flipped..but image the visual hooking a blender to a car battery
That's funny Willjax. I've been worried she might want to come see my 84 year old Granny "Wilma" here in Lake Butler. Granny never thought she would see a storm with her name.

Checking Meds! Checking Meds!!!
bye palmbeach...stay safe as well

Please stay safe. Have a great weekend - hope to talk to you Tuesday!
Just hand them a margarita and say "have a nice day!"
Here's a page with lotsa "spaghetti models."

Scroll down to 'Atlantic Basin' and browse various products.

Tim Taylor and Home Improvement comes to mind....
Pensacola, ya curving out to sea seems likely based on the Early model runs.
Thanks willjax

I was wondering if anyone had some advice.

I have a scheduled trip to the West Palm Beach area next Thursday through Sunday. Do you think it would be wise to cancel it now, or would you wait and see a few more days to get a better idea of where and how strong Wilma will be at landfall in Florida?

kshusker, I would wait and see. Plus, if you are flying in some airlines will not charge to change your flight, but if you cancelled now, they probably would charge you.
look at the rain shield going NE up in to FL...its huge!
Time for me to make my best guess on this thing. Landfall between St Pete and Manatee County as a weakening Cat 2.
<---- about to get soaked again
i want to be on cozamel so badly right now...lol...
Thanks Weatherdude & Will =)
Glad to see everybody is still hanging in there.

Take a look at Wilmas ugly mug this mornig, WOW, what a shot.

does anyone think it looks like it's stalling?
wow destiny!!!
Good luck, palmbeacher. Stay dry outside (margaritas inside).
Thanks, Destiny. That "thing" is now my wallpaper!
Hi Y'all - Destiny, that link is unreal. It
looks like those giant storms in "Day After
Tomorrow". Very sad and scary for Yucatan.
Need a change of pace? Try out the cyclone (I hesitate to call it tropical) south of Alaska: Link
Your welcome you guys.

Here is the link to the main page of these images. Awesome shots of all the hurricanes this season.

Off to take the kids to school.

190. SMU88
So guys...what are the ants doing???
Is that normal, snowsquall?
Awesome Snowsquall, looks like the beginning of a nice little polar low or something. :)

I'll check back in a little bit.
Steve did a discussion of Polar cyclones on his enhanced service a month or so ago. They are not unheard of. One of the guys I work with is currently on a two week Alaskan cruise. I wonder what his weather is like? I'm going to save this image for him.
Jeb is on, not saying much different
195. dcw
:O Look at the subscidence in the eye on WV (scroll to bottom of page) Link

wondered where everyone was..how's he look?he face tells the story imho
Snow - I just googled "polar cyclone"
and it's a very freaky sounding phenomenon.
They have them on Mars, too.
His face looks grim, as yesterday....
Hey everybody. I'm still here....Naples resident. Lots of folks on this site last night helping me come up with a sales pitch to get my DH to agree to get out of here. He STILL wants to stay. While he's out boarding up people's houses, I'm at home preparing the getaway car. Look for WWIII to erupt when he gets home....
ugh cape..
Snowsquall, I can tell you the weather is, well COLD :)

We've had some pretty mild weather really, but its suppose to drop off cold by the weekend. The temp is suppose to be around 10 above.
Alpha anyone,

While we are all watching Wilma, the tropical wave that entered the Caribbean developed an ominous blob of deep convection and NHC says it already has a low level circulation.

By the way, if nothing else, Wilma will give researchers something to chew on for a while as the models have consistently been wrong (albeit by a small margin) on Wilma's track, even when they are in close alignment. It also proves the value of a good human being with the final say as the NHC forecasters have just as consistently placed their forecasts to the left of the model tracks and have been getting it right.
Local ABC affiliate meteorologist just reported in their noon telecast:

1) Wilma expected to be cat 2 at landfall

2) Strongest tropical cyclone ever in recorded history:

Typhoon Tip
870 mb
1350 miles wide, a size that could stretch from the west
coast almost to the Mississippi River.

For really cool hurricane satellite images, check this site out:Link
Newb here, I've looked at Steve and Jeff blogs for most hurricanes this year since Katrina (awesome to read).

First, I have to echo everybodys sympathys for those at the Yucatan, especially Cozumel.

Second, I once stumbled upon a unbelivably large polar cyclone that "grazed" N. Scotland and smashed into the Shetlands, Orkneys, Herbides . In the tropics, It would easily be classified as a Cat 2, almost a 3.

Stornoway recieved hurricane forceWINDS (not gusts). And one small desolte weather station had max sustained winds of just over 100 MPH at one point.

And oh, pressure in this storm? 942 mb.
Hey everyone, see some new faces with some old ones..

Wilma is taking her time, bad news for the Yuctan. I heard some places could get 40 inches of rain.

If you want to chat with me shoot me some wunderground mail.

Also remenber cross post hurricane related links on my blog Please.
207. dcw
1350 mile circulation, not wind field. TS wind was like 600 mi, hurricane 200/
Dying to Stay

For the next 24-hours, tourists trapped on Yucatan's NE corner will live in terror.

Wilma's eye is just off the coast, her winds are topping 150 miles per hour, and the always hedging Max Mayfield at NHC says Wilma, has the potential to do major damage.

Why Max and the crew at NHC can't get off their hedges is one reason so many people still fail to appreciate the life and death threat a hurricane presents. Note to Max: There won't be diddy-doo left on the NE coast of Yucatan. Feel free to go ahead and say it.

As I noted before, and now the NHC confirms, Wilma is going to blast the coast for about a full day perhaps a day-and-a-half if it stalls. The bet at NHC is still on Wilma being pulled out of the channel by passing troughs, but the reality is that is speculation of the highly uncertain type.

Models are all over the place. Three models which analyze different layers in the atmosphere have Wilma traveling inland, then over northern Cuba and out to sea. The other major models still call for Wilma to turn to the NE and head for SW FL or the Keys, perhaps even going south of Key West.

Nobody knows at this point. It's a crapshoot.

This is certainly little comfort to the more than 30,000 tourists trapped in the area. About 1,000 are still on Cozumel island, and the rest are either stuck in Cancan, or in the environs south of the city.

The best reporting on Wilma is coming from Marion Lloyd of the Boston Globe. He is bringing the human face to the storm here..

It's amazing to believe so many decided to ride out Wilma on Cozumel. It's a flat island, and the 25-foot surge it can expect will cover the island. Yeah, I know NHC is calling for a 13-foot surge, but that defies its own description of the expected surge for a Cat 5, which is what Wilma is as far as surge goes. This type of forecasting is again why the NHC is losing the battle to get people to respect these storms.

On the island, they are staying in hotel ballrooms and other large rooms. On the mainland, the shelter d'jour is anything from hotels in Playa del Carmen just south of Cancun to run-down elementary schools and other such public buildings west of Cancun.

The theme of those staying is that they didn't realize until it was too late to get out that they were virtually signing their own death certificate. Of course, many will make it through the hurricane, but many others won't.

And what was there to stay for anyway? On Tuesday, at the latest, it was reasonable for anyone to believe Wilma was going to affect that area. But they lingered, hope against hope she would do something else.

When they do finally emerge, there will be no electricity, amenities, food other than that stockpiled before the hurricane, or even a beach worth sunning upon. All they will see is God-awful destruction, dead bodies, and a host of other sights sure to cause nightmares throughout their lives. They will only survive by God's grace.

For the next 2 days, Wilma is going to meander about, and the models, as they always do with a slow moving system, will go all over the map.

When she does move, depending on whether or not she kept her eye out over the water and just lashed the coast, she will be moving into Gulf waters only about 1 degree or so cooler than where she is now.

Again, how NHC can overlook that fact and already have people expecting a Cat 1 to cross FL is amazing in its own right. It's like their dismissal of Hurricane Dennis just after it came off the Cuban coast and the forecaster wrote there would likely be nothing to regenerate.

A day later, it was a Cat 5.

If Wilma crosses the 84-degree waters north of Cuba, reintensification may well prove the earlier forecasts of a weak Wilma wrong again. And if so, the NHC is going to have accept responsibility for it. They can turn on the TV and see for themselves how the local weather jocks are playing down Wilma. The truth is that nobody knows what she will do and playing her down is exactly the type of thing Mayfield and the gang should be hollering about it all the way to Washington.

For those now suffering the hurricane in Mexico, it really doesn't matter what happens in 2 or 3 days. They were dying to stay, and now many will die because they stayed.

Bookmark my new blog for discussions about a host of topics in the news. It's called Reading Between the Lines Cutting through the clutter to learn what the news really means to you.

It's formal address is http://kennethelamb.blogspot.com

BRLaSonny - MSNBC just reporting Cat 2 at Florida landfall as well....if that's still the case as time goes on I guess I won't evacuate...we are inland a ways & our storm surge map says we're affected by Cat 4 or Cat 5.
Ah, found it. BBC link below


"The strongest winds were measured at 124mph on North Rona, in the Western Isles."

That had better be a gust O.O

In this wikipedia Link you can see that hurricane force storms do often smash into N. Europe.
all right everyone.see ya in a few.just finished securing office up for storm and now it's on home.ttyl
MSNBC showed the eye right over Cozumel, Cancun....those poor people, what a frightening picture that was
Just say NO to more carribean blobs!
214. dcw
Lol, Caneman.

Why do some post show times in GMT and others in EDT?
Kennethelamb- I saw the NHC's Mr Mayfield a few hours ago, and you are right. I think the national intelligence is now cautioning media and scientists to 'tone down' the forecasts for destruction. Yes, it costs lives, but it is an effort to prevent the possibility of collapse of the system, or widespread panic, which can itself lead to loss of life.
This is neat, it's on this site. The different tracking models versus the actual track, done simultaneously in increments of 24 hours as the models changed and the storm moved. It starts from the begining of the storm, goes to the end. Very neat for a novice like myself, I think neat for others too :)

Looking at RAMDIS high rez floater loop, it appears that Wilma is starting to turn North. In fact, maybe NNE. Will be interesting to see if this is a wobble.
218. dcw
Mayfield is doing what he is doing because the NHC is under quite a bit of fire after Katrina. Though the forecasts were decent for her, the NO Mayor didn't listen. He needed someone to blame, and the NHC was perfect.
cool link sarasotack thanks
The forecast verification maps are great to look at. If you examine them in depth, you will get a feeling for which models are the best for 1,2...5 days or so. BAM is best for tropical storms... GFS and NOGAPS best for large hurricanes. None of them are much good for hurricaines that don't move at all! When you see them all tangled up in knots you can expect that the thing is just going to sit somewhere for awhile. When it finally starts moving again the models will predict the path pretty well. They have really no idea what will happen to intensity. I give the early predictions for Wilma as an example!
If the NHC says "Yes Cozumel and Cancun will get pureed, and she's heading for south Florida," what could possibly happen with six million south Floridians, 70% of whom live at subsistence level?
dcw- you're right about that. Hazy, lazy Nagin sat around and waited for disaster, and then yelled 'where's the Fed- Where's my Carnival Cruiser- I need a place to sleep." Wouldn't that be expected by now.
Im a longtime hurricane season lurker live in the panhandle, near Fort Walton Beach.

First, for Capelisa and Weatherweasel, the link that gave the bad site message (posted by windymiller) goes to a final product (edited satellite image) the link you need, to create your own satellite image, is




The images update regularly. If you want to center the hurricane, the X,Y coordinates right now are about 260,350 for the goeseasthurr page, while for the CONUS images, its 225,225. If you want to pick other images (IR, other satellites, etc), go to


The other reason I finaly decided to post a message is the discussion about when/where Wilma will hitt the US. Ive been worried about Wilma since I saw the first computer model. I still remember waking up on Oct 4, 1995, to discover Opal had my house as a bulls eye - 2 months after our first hurricane in almost 70 years (Erin, Aug 3, 1995) gave our subdivision a beautiful break in the middle of the storm. [g]

Opal had been forecast to cut across to the peninsula, due to steering winds, if I remember correctly (Im not involved in weather, other than learning too much about them the past few years, out of necessity), and we had been on the edge of the cone, or actually outside it, almost since Day One. I read an analysis later that said something about how Opal was so strong it steered the weather, rather than being steered by it.

I dont remember all the details, unfortunately, as I was more intrigued by the reason given for why it had weakened so abruptly. (Now that Ive posted, Ill write some things in my blog about my hurricane experiences, and will include that explanation there. It would take too long to write it out here, and this is already MUCH too long.)

Maybe some of the experts here can give a better explanation.

But, in a nutshell, Ill not be surprised by ANYTHING Wilma does, including making my home a bulls eye again, if it stays a strong Cat 4, or worse. If NHC is considering this possibility, then that might explains the nervous behavior. After all, what good are forecasts if a hurricane can be strong enough to break all the rules?

Again, I might be completely off base in fact, I hope I am. [g]

I keep my hurricane supplies ready in my garage during the entire season, so can leave with an hours notice. I might keep them there all year this time, instead of putting them away in December I think anything can happen this year.
Sarasotack: Welcome to Florida. You should have been here last year! But, then again, there's always next year or even the rest of this year. We have some best friends who moved to Sarasota almost two years ago. Last summer was their first full hurricaine season. They are already thinknig about moving back to the snow and ice of Michigan. We have been in Jacksonville, FL for almost 8 years, and the past two have been by far the worst. Now that we are moving into the peak of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (high SST's for 10 years or so) we can expect more and worse hurricaines for a few years or decades. Our Sarasota friends are evacuating to our home in Jacksonville. They saw Charley "jog" last year, and no longer trust any forecaster!
I don't think even a hurricane could convince me to go back and live in ice and snow again, LOL.
Yes Bukwurm- look at Rita- only 300-400 miles out in the Gulf they were predicting Brownsville area. The monster kept bending until it came in at TX/LA state line.
I remained puzzled by the criticisms of NHC. What, exactly, do you want NHC do be doing? Telling everyone south of Orlando to leave Florida because Wilma will cause widespread catastrophic damage? Telling everyone in Florida not to worry because there's plenty of time before anyone will feel the impact from Wilma there and it won't be so bad anyway?

I mean, c'mon, folks, we have a a major hurricane that is thrashing the daylights out of Cozumel and the NE Yucatan right now, and that likely will affect FL in the next few days (and already is affecting the Keys), but who (nobody) knows exactly where, when, and how hard. And that's what NHC seems to be saying.

I don't get it.
Last few Satellite images show it going due north. Anyone else notice this???????????????
Our Sarasota friends tell us that the traffic on I-75 north bound is pretty much bumper to bumper. So much for noone listening to the NHC. What's wrong with a nice weekend in Georgia. Maybe you could go far enough north to get in a Fall color tour.
lol, Snowsquall, I'm coming from Michigan too! I'm staying here though, seems like alot of uncertainty (hopefully too hyped) for this storm, and I really don't have anywhere to go besides West Palm Beach anyway. My luck and they would get it worse! I'm about 2 1/2 miles from the gulf, and not in a flood zone, I'm thinking that's good... *prays* (also sturdy home, helps)
sarasotack, where in MI? We moved from there to Tampa almost five hurricane seasons ago (June '01).
Amazing storm.........there probably won't be any thing left of cozumel.........a terrible, terrible thing....there will be nothing left on that island......thats like a F3 tornado sitting on them for 3 hours........
233. dcw
I've initiated advisories on the Caribbean system as TD25Y:

Much though I hate to say it...the small area of convection in the eastern Caribbean has developed enough banding and convection to be classified as a Tropical Depression. The initial intensity of 25kt is based on microwave and QuickScat estimates around 30kt, since all such vectors are under rain.
Very few computer models have been run on this system as yet...but all the ones that have (except the CLP5) show a quick recurvature in response to the high pressure system also steering Hurricane Wilma. The current forecast calls for passage over Hispaniola in about three days, follwed by a turn to the north then north-northeast...with the system well west of Bermuda at 120 hours. Though this follows the model guidance...it is significantly slower due to the fact that Hurricane (by then probably a Tropical Storm) Wilma will be passing along its path, slowing the system down. If the system does not turn northward...or if Wilma doesn't block it...the track could be significantly different.
The intensity forecast is quite problematic, due to the complex enviornment the system is passing into. SSTs in the region are very warm, even after Wilma's passage, but upper-level shear from both westerlies and Wilma's outflow will limit strengthening. Passage over Haiti will probably damage the circulation enough to limit any strengthening afterward...and so a slow weakening is shown for the last 48 hours. Should the track be otherwise, however, it would reach the conditions that created Wilma, and would have to be watched much more carefully. It is worth noting that...should this storm become a Tropical Storm...it would be named Alpha and break the 1933 record for most named storms.
The position of the storm justifys a Tropical Storm Watch for Hispaniola.

Initial: 13.0N 62.0W 25kt
12 Hour: 14.0N 64.5W 35kt
24 Hour: 14.5N 67.0W 45kt
48 Hour: 17.5N 69.0W 50kt
72 Hour: 19.0N 70.5W 40kt...inland
96 Hour: 23.0N 72.0W 35kt...over water
120 Hour: 30.0N 70.5W 30kt
Yes toadfish, you are right. But gradually, the various entities which can inform the public of present or pending danger, seem to be divorcing themselves from reality. For instance, these monsters which are forming in the oceans presently should be called something other than hurricanes, just to make the public more aware. Another example; the public mind thinks a category 3 storm is just a fraction more dangerous than a category 2, but it is several times more destructive. It is actually the margin at which dwellings stand or fall! It is just something to ponder.
Hi all. Just checking in. Lots of dark clouds here in Jax now. Considering that the storm is taking a more westerly track than predicted a few days ago, it now seems that landfall in Florida will creep North. Just checked the WV loop and HOLY CRAP is this storm big! http://www.goes.noaa.gov/HURRLOOPS/huwvloop.html
The Miami Dolphins game against Kansas City has been changed to tonight from Sunday afternoon. I want to be the first to offer shelter at my home to the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders if they evacuate. I want to help anyway I can.
odd, where'd my post go? I did it about 10 minutes ago...
Don't wrote off Cozumel so soon. As of 1 pm central time, the phones are still working on Cozumel and people are calling with updates. Obviously there's still stuff standing. Check out the various Cozumel forums, like cozumelmycozumel.com for more info.
LdyAvalon- what a discerning comment about Jeb. Unfortunately, it is also true of his brother.
Globalize: Thanks for responding. I guess I'm still puzzled, though. Following NHC's lead, we call Cat 3 storms "major" hurricanes; we don't call Cat 2 storms that; seems like a pretty big distinction to me. As for these monsters, well, we've never had 3 of them in one season before, but they aren't so different from Camille, Hugo, Andrew, and the 1935 Labor Day hurricane that did such terrible damage to the Keys. What would you be saying right now that's if you were a public official?

Dawgfan: That makes no sense to me, either (except the cheerleaders part, maybe you should send some of them up my way). Tonight's not the problem, but Sunday more likely is! Oh well, I'd have been more upset if it had been a Marlins game.
Globalize: Thanks for responding. I guess I'm still puzzled, though. Following NHC's lead, we call Cat 3 storms "major" hurricanes; we don't call Cat 2 storms that; seems like a pretty big distinction to me. As for these monsters, well, we've never had 3 of them in one season before, but they aren't so different from Camille, Hugo, Andrew, and the 1935 Labor Day hurricane that did such terrible damage to the Keys. What would you be saying right now that's if you were a public official?

Dawgfan: That makes no sense to me, either (except the cheerleaders part, maybe you should send some of them up my way). Tonight's not the problem, but Sunday more likely is! Oh well, I'd have been more upset if it had been a Marlins game.
Looking at the WV loop it seems the storm is pushing the low ridge up. Anyone else see the same thing?
No toadfish, there needs to be some acceptance of the world as it is now. I'm not talking about 'major' hurricanes. A lot of folks want to be come a 'Major', or attend a 'major sporting event'. I mean saying what it is, and possibly risking a decline in coastal property values, but saving people from misery or death. How about 'Killer Storm', or 'Death Dealer'? No, not seriously, but do you get my drift?
Recordfinder, I noticed the same (on the interactive sat
site http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/post-goes. Can't tell if its one of the infamous 'wobbles' or a skirting of the coast. Eitherway, I'm putting up the shutters in Weston tomorrow...
Hello Everyone, finally got to get caught up on my reading of your posts. Busy at work today. Lots of planning and update huddles with our employees. We should stay open until Sun Night unless something changes.

From Weston Fl (where I work) very cloudy and rainy, some squalls hitting us already.

DCW, thanks for your update on TD25Y. I asked about that yesterday and was told nothing to worry about at this time. It is really getting organized. HELLO Alpha!
I agree, looks like it will hit PR & DR/Haiti and they need a warning of some type.

Sarasota, 2 1/2 miles frm the Gulf is not good on the west coast. If this storm goes that far north and you are south of the eye, you will have surge that far inland I think. The west coast has surge penatration much further than the east coast.

Now must look and catch up on Lefty's blog and see what is going on other there. Also so busy at work I doubt if I can do much more than take a glance every now and then.
Noticed a lot of new names, welcome aboard. You are gonna love this site; BEWARE it is very adicting. :-)
(no time to proof this hope it is readable.)
Globalize: I think so. By the way, Bill Maher said of hurricanes something like this: "NEW RULE: Don't build so close to the sea. If you build your house where weather knocks down houses, the weather will knock down your house. Hurricanes are God's way of saying 'Get off my property.'"

So the other side of your coin is that we have to stop encouraging people to build in hurricane-prone places.

If I can put my 2 cents worth in, the 'officials' are in a no-win situation IMO. If they call for death and destruction and the storm fizzles or moves, then they were alarmists. The other way, and people weren't given enough warning. Until the public takes responsibility for their own behinds you are going to have this kind of thing.
any indications of a more northerly track? i live near tampa, getting a little worried but have not started preparing yet.
Globalize, what will happen the first time one of your "death dealers" weakens just before landfall into "only a hurricane"?

At some level, the diff between Cat 2 and Cat 3 is really more of an academic distinction than you are giving it credit for. Depending on where your house is in relation to the eyes, a cat 1 or 2 can be worse than a cat 3...

I agree kittreb, we should take the info and do what we think is best
any links to the spaghetti models updated?
is there anyone in here or is everyone boarding up their homes lol
I think living in a hurricane prone area is like owning a car. You shouldn't own a car if you can't fix a flat, change the oil and understand what it means when the battery light comes on. You shouldn't live in a hurricane prone area and not know that forecasts have errors in the many hundreds of miles 72 hours out, and almost as bad at 48 hours. You should know enough to be able to watch TV and make an informed decision on your own to get out without waiting for some government official to tell you to (i.e. New Orleans types who said, but the Mayor didn't order an evacuation until too late, like you couldn't see this monster storm on every news channel for days before it hit). In the end, it's all up to the individual to make the informed decision. I just really pray for people in places like Cuba or the Bahamas or even Cozumel where there is no "inland" to head for.
Yes, and just a little real input by the Fed to educate the public about the momentum of wind and water would change coastal design and construction, and perhaps people could indeed live a little more safely on the coast. Right now, the public is in the dark. But we are all pay for coastal destruction. I dread looking at my insurance premiums six months from now.
On evacuating, if you have a personal arbitrary rule, (like if they evacuate the Keys, then I'm leaving OR if a hurricane gets into the gulf, then I go) it is easier to deal with the situation. Rather than relying on imperfect forecasts (we're dealing with nature!), set a rule that you can live with financially and just do that every time. It's like always going to the top floor of a parking deck or parking as far from the grocery store entrance as possible. Takes a lot of the emotional stress out of things.
Just spoke with a friend in the Office Of Emergency Management in Martin County, Florida - he stated that they are looking for our area being hit with nothing more than a category 1 on the Treasure Coast.
I hope he is right!
EllistonVa- without the common purpose of the government in educating the public and facilitating public awareness, there would be much more misery from these storms. We are essentially discussing how things might be made better for the public as a whole.
Sorry, Windnwaves, I don't buy it. Just go back and look at Knabb's forecast discussion (Discussion #25). You can't tell me that he claimed to be certain about what would happen next, not even close.
260. SEFL
"criticism of NHC: they act like they know what they are talking about when they don't. that's the problem. it's not their fault they are clueless, just that they don't admit it. in addition, they try and control emotions. if they feel people are letting their guard down, they hype things up."

That is undoubtedly one of the dumbest comments I have ever read on here.
Toadfish and Globalize, when there are mandatory evacuations up here in the panhandle, a lot of towns and/or counties have their law enforcement go door-to-door in the evacuation areas. When they find someone who has decided to defy the order and stay home, a lot of the jurisdictions have the officers request "next of kin" information, telling the holdouts that it will save a lot of manhours after the storm, if they already know who to notify of the holdout's death. (I'm paraphrasing here, as I'm sure the officers are a bit more polite). This does two things.

First, it centralizes the info, and WILL save man hours.

Secondly, from what I've heard, over half the holdouts change their minds, and evacuuate after all, so lives are undoubtedly saved.

Maybe for the major hurricanes, some sort of comment like this could be included. Perhaps:

"This storm is a major threat to life. If you decide to ignore your local government's evacuation orders, please call 1-800-DEATH ID (1-800-332-8443) with your name, address and next of kin information, so we can find your remains quickly after the storm, before decomposition makes identification difficult, if not impossible. If you won't try to stay alive, at least keep your loved ones from wondering about you for days or weeks."

Obviously, that's a bit strong, but something like that WOULD make people pay attention.

I am always amazed at the number of 911 calls made during the height of a hurricane, asking for rescue. This, despite multiple announcements that no rescue attempts are possible at those times. The personal touch does work - maybe a strongly worded public announcement would, also.

Of course, maybe it's just Darwin's theory in action. [g]
I personally think that the NHC does a heck of a job given how amazingly hard it is to forecast these things. In general I think that the government does a decent job of informing the public and helping out when these things hit. I'm just saying that as we've seen this year in the difference between the responses in say Katrina and Rita, the abilities of local officials vary widely and people need to take that into account when making decisions. I've been in one evacuation in FL (for Floyd) and I was amazed at how well it was handled with so many people moving. I've seen other times when it seems like the officials have no clue.
As I see it, the bottom line is if you know a storm is out there it is your responsibility to find out where, what it's doing and decide how it may affect you. Then make a decision on what you will do. If you smell smoke in your house, wouldn't you investigate to see how serious a problem you had, then decide whether to get out or pull the burnt toast out of the oven?
nice analogy kittreb :-)
GoldenGate, I don't know that I'd put much stock in that cat 2 strength at landfall forecast at this point. The thing is that right now we just simply don't know what Wilma will do once it gets through with Cozumel and Cancun. The only thing we can do is for all of us to do exactly what we are doing now... wait and watch... don't turn your back on, or a blind eye to, this monster, because she truly is a deceitful b****, and I still believe that at this point she could honestly do anything.

Regarding something that LdyAvalon said earlier about leaving evacuation to personal decision: while I'm glad we have NOAA, NWS, etc. advising us all, and governments in place to issue mandatory evacuation orders, I do not think it's unreasonable to expect everyone to take a little personal responsibility at times like this. And I still say, if someone is in the projected path of what could still be a serious storm if it sticks to that path, and he/she is *able* to leave, then they have to decide to do what they think best for them and their loved ones. The ultimate decision, whether or not governments mandate evacuation, is a personal decision, and nothing else, IMHO.

windnwaves -it takes a lot of time to move that many people. If you wait until you absolutely know that it will hit your house, you've waited too long and the most you will be able to do is sit in traffic 5 miles from your house for the storm.
Seflagamma (did I spell that right? lol) My bad, I'm 2ish miles from Little Sarasota Bay, then there's Siesta Key, then the Gulf. My neighbors said that slowed things down a bit for us, most are staying with just a few leaving. It's really hard to know what to do to be honest. I have a generator that I've gotten gas for, stocked up on food and water and am praying I am doing what's best for my family and I.

This whole thing is kind of scary, surreal in that you don't know if you're taking it too light or too dramatic. I'm thinking I'm not alone in these thoughts... Unless someone knows for sure, then just tell me already!!!! :~)

The NHC blew the Katrina call? How, exactly?

You have it all wrong its not Darwin's Theory its the Darwin Awards (LOL)
Just spoke with a friend in the Office Of Emergency Management in Martin County, Florida - he stated that they are looking for our area being hit with nothing more than a category 1 on the Treasure Coast.
I hope he is right!

Makes two of us!
The NHC had the call very good for Katrina. Had Nagin acted like the Emergency Operations Officer that he is supposed to be, there would have been much less problem. He was/is more worried about his tax dollars than the public good.
Sonny, you're right about that. I'm not counting myself safe by any stretch of the imagination. It looks now like I have a little more time to make a decision. The slow-moving aspect of this storm may work to SW FL's advantage. Since people started leaving earlier, maybe some of the congestion on the roads will be mitigated if the exodus is stretched out over several days. I'm ready to go if I need to. Everything is packed & by the door, house is secure. What I need to do now is pick a do-or-die decision time.
Windnwaves, I don't know where you're based, but I know lots of folks in Dade County who got badly affected by Katrina, in particular by the flooding that occured.

windnwaves: Would you do me a favor? Would you please go to Biloxi, MI, and find some place where some people still are, and tell them that Katrina was all hype? And when you've done that, go to Cozumel and do the same thing about Wilma. I'll even tell you how to say that in Spanish, if you like.
Sarasota, thanks for getting back. by the way, you can call me "gamma" since there are so many on here with SEFL attached to their names. It sounds like you are probably ok, I thought you were right on the Gulf Beach. Hopefully it will not get that far north for you to be on the South side of the storm. All any of us can do is prepare for the worse and hope for the best, then if we are spared, be there to help the people that get hit.
Take care, Gamma
The eye is filling in a little bit.
278. crow
Slow as it is, may be we are seeing a non=event that will become a rainstorm..WEST in the Gulf.
Everyone should be as prepared as they can. There is no reason to fault anyone for stocking upon gas and water. In fact, it's downright irresponsible not to stock up. I won't be the one waiting for the government to bring me a bottle of water, that's for sure.
found this site from another blog. scroll down and look at the pictures from today from cozumel
rwdobson and socalweathernut...

NHC frankly did "blow it" with Katrina, since they led us to believe for the entire week that Katrina was headed to FL panhandle, and then change it to SE LA with only 2 days to prepare. 2 days is not enough time to go from "oh it's somebody else's problem" to "omg, it's coming HERE?!?!", IMO

Socal, I don't think Nagin's response was perfect, but
New Orleans is unique in the depth of poverty and VERY
bad education system. Many people didn't leave
because 1) they had no transportation 2) they were worried
about their social security checks or their homes in bad
neighborhoods 3) they didn't have the education to
understand the threat for themselves. 4) they had no place
to go, no place to bring pets or no resources.
But many people got out - it could have been
much worse.
Hmm, the track shifted a couple hundred miles over 2 days? That's hardly "blowing it". That is just part of the forecast uncertainty.
That should tell you then that if you live around the Gulf, you better be able to move with 2 days notice....
NOLA, I agree. Even though it's been over 20 years I can still remember vividly what it feels like to have $5 that has to last until the next paycheck. I at least knew that if things got really bad I could turn to friends or family, hat in hand. Most of those Louisiana people would have considered me rich by comparison. I can understand how it would be impossible for some people to evacuate.
Ok, gang. I have to take a break. My 18 yearold daughter is getting married tonight, and I'm due at the church in 2 hours. I'll check in late tonight after the wedding for just a little bit.

Hang in there everyone... we're all gonna get through this. To those of you who make the decision to leave and, therefore, we don't hear from you til after the storm, God bless and keep you and we'll talk to you next week hopefully.

Cograts, BRL!
"You have it all wrong its not Darwin's Theory its the Darwin Awards (LOL)"

Ahhh... but the Darwin Awards do call it "evolution in action." [g]

However, they also say regular, commnon stupidity doesn't count, it has to be spectacular. Too many people are idiots during hurricanes for them to be alegible for Darwin Awards.

Wind, not sure where you are, but please, if you're at ground zero, and it's a Cat 3 coming in, please write your next of kin info on your hand with indelible ink - save the coroner some time.

Of course, it's also possible you just like to stir up a rumpus. My guess is you are, at best, college age. And a guy. Am I correct?

(No offense to all the brilliant college age guys on here, but it is a truism, unfortunately, that MOST people who post comments that are totally off the wall come from the guys whose brains are running a bit behind in the social development arena. We gals have our own idiosyncracies.... [g])
I have no objection to people deciding to "ride it out" ... I just wish they wouldn't start screaming for help and expect the Coasties or police to risk their lives to save them from their stubborness, denial or just plain stupidity.

I have a Dutch co-worker ... in the Netherlands, ALL evacuations are optional, but everyone knows that there will be NO RESCUERS if you decide not to evacuate. And they allow building in flood-prone areas along the rivers, but no one will insure the buildings. The property owner is on their own if they lose their house.
See ya Sonny - have a great time tonight!
Darwin's theory = natural selection, aka-survival of the fittest

Darwin Award - awarded for dying in an absolutely stultifying manner BEFORE one has reproduced. Amazingly stupid ways of dying are listed in the annual Darwin compendiums but noted to be ineligible for "a Darwin".
Don't agree with you, Sonny. They project a cone of probable impact for a reason...forcast path is an educated guess, not a given. Anyone that looks at the projected path and says..."gee, I don't have to worry"...is being foolish. I'm a retired cop, and I see hurricane predictions like I see human behavior...make the best educated guess you can how someone is going to react to a given situation, go with that, but be prepared to be suprised.
I am told by a relative with interests in Bermuda that they have done much with their infrastructure to "hurricane-proof" the island. Buried electric lines, phone lines etc, better building codes. It seems that if we are going to build in coastal regions, more attention needs to be paid to this kind of thing so that fewer people have to evacuate in order to survive. Is it possible to build a house that would make it through a Cat 5? In NO, all houses should have a safe haven that is well above surge potential.
oh - left off - if the person has already successfully bred. my bad :)
So from my point of view....Wilma is a nutcase...surprise, surprise, surprise....
I'm not really surprised by Wilma, yet, although calling her a nutcase is a good description. right now the looney is meandering slowly, talking to herself, then will get a hair up her a$$ and start running...eventually.
rwdobson, kittreb, twifob, and weatherweasel:

Cone... yes, if I remember correctly, the very western edge of the cone was at the Louisiana/Mississippi stateline all week, which is what had *me* concerned. Any intelligent observer (and government officials *should* be included in that, or at least have advisors bringing them up to speed) should also have been suspicious all week long. However, I believe it's specifically because NHC didn't shift the track until Saturday that Nagin wasn't convinced of the need for mandatory evacuation until it was too late to do anything about those who could not evacuate on their own.

"you better be able to move with 2 days notice"... I agree, kittreb. However, as others have pointed out, there were many who were simply unable to evacuate due to their circumstances. A mandatory evacuation should have been backed by a predetermined government plan for the safe and timely evacuation of those people within as little as 48 (36??) hours.

"I just wish they wouldn't start screaming for help and expect the Coasties or police to risk their lives to save them from their stubborness, denial or just plain stupidity"... I agree to a point. That is, if it was because of stubborness, denial or just plain stupidity. If it was because of their having no means to evacuate, then I believe everything possible should be done to aid them, preferrably before disaster, but even after if need be.

Also, to those who have been involved in the Darwin discussion, I hesitate to say it, but perhaps there was an element of "natural selection" in the whole matter. But that's a debate I think we take on with some danger. LOL

Gee, I gotta get outta here. Bye all!!

Bryan Norcross (Channel 4/Miami) says the south portion of Florida is much more likely to get Wilma than north becaude of the cold front coming down..
For those in SW FL who are a few miles in and want to ride this out I have some experience for you. I helped with the Katrina cleanup in Biloxi earlier. We worked in one neighborhood 7 miles from the coast that was not in a flood zone. The water damage lines were at the seven foot mark on the drywall in the houses. Everything was destroyed in the houses. We went to homes where bodies were found because they couldn't get into the attic space. If you are near the coast, evacuate. Don't make your family and friends come looking for you.
a person who opts to stay, for whatever reason, deserves assistance as soon as humanly possible. This would not likely be during the storm. Since our country has demonstrated its amazing ability to deliver all types of assistance with blazing speed & efficiency throughout the world, it is not out of line to expect the same for a fellow American.

Afterall, nobody faulted the Thais for not following their elephants when they booked to higher ground before the Tsunami. Folks remain for all kinds of reasons - better to provide education beforehand & assistance afterwards - saving judgement for those who are omniscient ( eg - not me) :)

shoulda, woulda, coulda gets you nowhere - remember the goal - fatten up, swim upstream, spawn & die ! :)
NYPD2PSL... Just spoke with a friend in the Office Of Emergency Management in Martin County, Florida - he stated that they are looking for our area being hit with nothing more than a category 1 on the Treasure Coast.
I hope he is right!

I live in Jensen Beach I hope to hell he is right... I havemy boards ready to go.. Pre-cut Pre Drilled.. I can do it in about 4 hours...

But I DON'T want to.. I will wait till this thing is right up my butt....

If we are expected to get a cat 1 on the west side.. Then I expect to see a Tropical storm on the east side by the time it gets here... I won't put up anything for that..

The forecast track centerline started a bit east of Panama City, I believe, and moved west with every single update for that week. It showed LA before the two day out mark - although you wouldn't know it to hear some of the government officials. In fact, President Bush declared a state of emergency for Louisiana two or three days before Katrina made landfall. Also, two days prior is when the mayor said he was concerned about lawsuits if he orded an evacuation, so asked the attorneys rto look into whether he had the authority to do it or not. (Among other things, that shows how well thought out the NOLA disaster prep was - if that was a serious question, it should have been answered years earlier.) That was why the NHC head called him at home that night (Saturday) - to beg the mayor to order a mandatory evacuation. That was the first time ever that NHC has made a home phone call about a hurricane - and it was because there was no sense that Louisiana was paying attention to the storm. Then, when the evacuation was called, the evacuation plan was ignored, as the mayor was supposed to set up busses for the people who couldn't leave on their own. He said after the fact he had no drivers willing to stay - fact is, there was no attempt made to find any. There was no plan in place to do so.

I was glued to my computer that entire time, and remember spending several days wondering if we would get back into the main strike zone.

It's true that it was only a couple of days that the NHC centerline zeroed in on New Orleans. That, however, is not what counts - as they continually emphasize. It's the entire "cone" that is the forecast area. In fact, The Weather Channel no longer shows the centerline, as it confuses too many people.

It's like a due date when you're pregnant - only 5% of babies are born on the "due date," and over half are born after it. All the due date is is the middle of a four week window - but just ask any soon-to-be mom the day after her "due date" passes - she's convinced she's "late," and starts getting upset...

So, yes, ground zero was only there for about two days - BUT - New Orleans was in the direct path for over a week.

There were mistakes made at all levels, and many people died because of that. I don't believe, however, that any of the errors were made by the NHC. Maybe Florida evacuates too quickly. I prefer it that way, however - as meteorology is an inexact science. If you wait to leave til you're positive you are in the target zone, you'll be stuck on a road.

If Wilma lands north of Tampa, it's still an accurate forecast. If it hits us, THEN there was an inaccuracy. (and yes, P'Cola is still listed as a possible site - but odds are below 5%, so it shows in the strike probability data, but not in the forecast graphic.)


I think I'll quit posting - I don't have time to edit these rambles. Many apologies for the longwindedness. I'll go back to lurking for now.

Good luck, everyone.
"A mandatory evacuation should have been backed by a predetermined government plan for the safe and timely evacuation of those people within as little as 48 (36??) hours."

Oops - can't resist one final comment.

Sonny, you and I are in agreement. The problem in New Orleans was not that there was no plan in place; it was that the plan wasn't followed. Worse yet, it turned out to be a paper plan only - there were no procedures in place to implement it, which is a much different, and in many ways larger, problem.

I know my earlier post sounds like I'm blaming Nagin, but that's not really true. The plans should have been written, to include procedures, decades ago. There were none, not even, as near as I can tell, a recall list of "essential personnel," whose job descriptions, when they were hired, stated they had to remain behind in the case of a disaster. And that's a very basic part of any disaster preparedness plan.

So, people did their best on their own, and it wasn't quite good enough. Hopefully, it will never happen again, as I think there is a lot of soul searching going on at all levels of government right now.

Obviously, when I'm talking about Darwin, I'm not including the people who were unable to get to safety - only the ones who pooh-poohed the entire concept of danger. That's a very different situation.
Is anyone here concerned about the very good people of the Yucatan? Any friends or family, frequent travelers, or other interested parties out there? I'm worried about SW FL - used to live there and have friends there - but also wondered if anyone is thinking of those who are right this minute in harm's way. Anyone?
Does anyone know how the new TD#25(maybe Alpha) will interact with Wilma. The projected path of the TD will move East and North of the Bahamas. Could this push Wilma further West as it speeds NE up the US coast????