Latest Forecast: Charley Hitting Tampa Bay as 123mph Cat 3

My sense is that it may even be a bit stronger by the time it gets there, if it slows down at all. This is not a good situation as this will be the most densely populated coastal area to get hit since Andrew, I think, by a major hurricane.
 
On the bright side, any hurricane chasers should be in good shape. The metro should provide many areas of secure shelter such as parking garages.

Aron
 
Good luck and safe travels to all who are going after Charley. Thoughts and prayers going out to the locals there. If Charley does come in as a Cat 3, damage and flooding will be significant. (Almost wish I could chase it...could be an interesting experience)
BTW...TWC just showed vid of a sweet "waterspout" on Sanibel Island (actually was more of a tornado as it was on the beach)...very dust-devilly in appearance...transparent, multiple vortex, and seriously annoying a flock of birds!! They're also showing vid of a nice Bonnie-spawned tornado from Jacksonville, FL...no mention of injuries, probably about F1 from the damage reports.

Angie
 
I live in Tampa Bay!

Angie,
Thank you!

This will be the first time that I will be in a hurricane and hope to share photos with everyone here. I live in the pinellas county area but in the no-evacuation zone (Good news). We should start getting the effects tomarrow morning. I will put up my personal story after the storm and when I can have access to a computer.
 
Sanibel Island FL waterspout/tornado

The Weather Channel posted an image of the waterspout Angie mentioned on their website, you can see it here:

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Angie Norris wrote:
BTW...TWC just showed vid of a sweet "waterspout" on Sanibel Island (actually was more of a tornado as it was on the beach)...very dust-devilly in appearance...transparent, multiple vortex, and seriously annoying a flock of birds!! They're also showing vid of a nice Bonnie-spawned tornado from Jacksonville, FL...no mention of injuries, probably about F1 from the damage reports.

I woke up briefly this morning to a thunderstorm passing through, when my alarm clock went off I got up and my roommate told me I had missed all the excitement. The news was showing a house and trees downed from a tornado and another system was moving through with a tornado warning just 15 miles away from me. Unfortunately I had to come into work and couldn't call in sick today....phooey. Remenants of Bonnie sure are making an impact. I'll be in Raleigh celebrating my Dad's birthday tonight....My dad's name is Charlie and he's from Florida, if that isn't a strange coincidence.

I hope anybody with family down there fairs well through the hurricane. God bless!!
 
There was no 20ft storm surge... Looks like NHC got a little too excited with that recon report as winds on the ground were only in the 110mph range (not that "only" is a good word but MUCH less damage than at 145!)
 
Tampa Bay??

Tampa Bay?? UHH, pardon me. What was the name of that harbor that Hurricane Charley actually hit? Charlotte Harbor?? Seems like the sly fox in Charley got someone's goat and moved inland sooner than predicted!! Tampa Bay would have been a perfect disaster area with the right angle and movement of the hurricane. I think Mother Nature gave us a nice little break there.
 
There was no 20ft storm surge... Looks like NHC got a little too excited with that recon report as winds on the ground were only in the 110mph range (not that "only" is a good word but MUCH less damage than at 145!)

I'm still a little hesitant to say that... Yes, the highest official wind gust measured was 109mph, but this was a spatially-compact hurricane, with >74mph winds only extending to 30 miles outside of the eye... That means the Cat 4 winds were probably only within 5 miles of the eye... I don't know where the ASOS/AWOS station was that recorded the 109mph gust, but I find it conceivable and likely that it didn't record winds just outside the eye... Heck, there was a 105mph wind gust in Orlando, after the storm had begun to weaken from being inland for 5 hours...
 
I'm not making a final call ;> but don't assume that I'm the only one to question NHC's surface wind estimate. Note that the highest sustained winds have all been less than 100mph -- NHC said _sustained_ 145mph with higher gusts... It doesn't appear to have been the case, but we'll wait for the post-storm surveys to see.

- Rob
 
What do you suppose the potential is for further damage and floding off to the northeast while Charley's headed that way? When hurricane Donna went on this kind of a path in 1960, it caused severe damage around Florida then caused severe floods in NYC . . . but of course that doesn't instantly mean Charley's gonna do that.
 
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