One last look… one final peek at the computer guidance before bedtime. It is troubling.
The gfdl is continuing to call for the track of Hurricane Frances to move just north of West Palm Beach and then over Lake Okeechobee, through the center of the state, and into the Gulf of Mexico via Tampa Bay. This is well south of the official Hurricane Center forecast.
The cross state portion of the trip should take nearly 24 hours. Even that number doesn’t take into account all the hours of tumult, just the hours the eye is over land.
Miami radar is continuing to show the eye over the Bahamas. It still doesn’t look like it’s moving to me. That’s a bad sign. Slow moving storms mean more rain. If the storm is capable of 2-3″ of rain per hour, the enemy becomes time. More hours equal more rain.
On this radar screen¹ the eye should look like the hole on the end of a drinking straw. Instead it looks like a manhole cover – huge.
That eye would really have to shrink… and quickly… for the storm to intensify. The gfdl thinks it will. There is plenty of warm, open water west of its current position. I won’t even venture a guess. I think this storm is beginning to become very unpredictable.
The gfdl anticipate landfall for the eye late Saturday evening. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it still offshore Sunday at daybreak.
Moving slowly like this hurricane Frances doesn’t have to be a Category 3 or 4 storm to do real damage. It will wear its opponents down over time.
¹ – The link is ‘live’, meaning clicking gets you the latest view which is not necessarily going to resemble what I’m seeing at 3:43 AM EDT.