REPORTS: Hurricane Wilma

I talked to my brother who lives in Palm Beach Gardens..he faired out well but as the eye came in..he and his girl friend took a trip to the beach. The western eye wall caught them and it was all they can do to make it back to his place that is just west of I-95 and PGA Blvd. He said at one point a gust of wind literally had his truck (a king cab..the biggest pickup you can get??) on two wheels going across a bridge back toward US 1.
Plus he had to dodge lots of flying debris that included narrowly being whacked by an airborne outhouse! Naturally, I tactfully told him he was just a wee bit stupid to be out in the midst of the worst part of the storm.

Anyway..I'm rather suprised noone has posted yet on this thread...Just who else was out on this storm? The only one I know for sure was Bill Reid and Cheryl Cheng who were on the west coast near Naples and of course Stu and his friend from the U.K. Whoever was on this, I'm very interested in a copy of the video...especially anyone who was on the east coast.
I was there too. I was set up at the Radisson Hotel at the southwest tip of Marco Island. This thing was very strong, especially the second half which hit the area just at daybreak. At one point I was able to look up into the eye and see the half moon that was out. Very surreal.

I've got a few pics and a video clip online now and I'll be adding a lot more in the days to come. I just got home to Toronto and I need to get rested & organized.

George Kourounis
Toronto, Canada
Great intercept George – I also found that the South West side had the strongest winds – this was also the case with Rita….

Please post some more video and images when you can
George - I heard a report your hotel was damaged - can you confim this at all ??

"An example of the magnitude of the devastation is the Radisson hotel on Marco Island where the entire northern facing wall collapsed due to high winds from Hurricane Wilma"
Hurricane Wilma Chase Report

Good day everyone,

My interception of Wilma was done on 10-24-2005 and stretched from landfall just NW of Everglades City and northeast-ward across the state to Palm beach.


The above picture is the calm eye of Wilma just NE of everglades City, FL at about 7:30 AM on 10-24-2005. You can see the "stadium effect" where the eyewall stretches from lower left to right. Note the blue sky overhead!


Pressure MEASURED by my weather station mounted atop my vehicle was as low as 950 MB in the eye. The plot above is annotated and shows the wind and pressure meteogram plot!


This is what winds gusting near 120-MPH does to the water in a canal in the FL Everglades!

My full report is under construction as of 10-27, but should be finished soon. Check out the link below for it!

Take care,

Chris C - KG4PJN
>>George - I heard a report your hotel was damaged - can you confim this at all ??

"An example of the magnitude of the devastation is the Radisson hotel on Marco Island where the entire northern facing wall collapsed due to high winds from Hurricane Wilma"<<

Well, yes it is true. A large portion of the north wall did collapse but it was at the ground floor only. The entire height of the building was not collapsed. Still it was quite impressive and I'll post pictures when I can. (I'm hoping to get caught up by the end of the weekend)
A delayed storm report on Wilma:

Compared to its seige of the Cancun-Cozumel area, its strike on South Florida was a blitzkrieg. The stronger winds in the Miami area started about 6-7 AM and reached a peak between 8-9 AM. Things were winding down in our area by 11 AM-noon. The National Hurricane Center received a peak gust of 90 kt, although the sustained winds were 55-60 kt. While we were shuttered up for most of the worst conditions, we did get a few looks outside. It sured looked to me that the wind was stronger than our anemometer was indicating. :)

There was no structral damage at the office, although some of our satellite dishes on the roof were damaged. A building located to the southeast of us partly flew apart during the storm, with sheet metal winding up in several places nearby, including on some cars parked across the street.

My house took minor damage, although I was without power for three days. However, I fared well compared to some of my colleagues, three of whom suffered serious roof damage.

One interesting thing was that the strong gusts were clearly audible inside our office, which was a little surprising. I guess steel-reinforced concrete is not the best sound-proofing material in the world. :) There were also some grinding sounds, which I'm guessing was stuff on the roof getting pushed around.

Jack Beven
Tropical Prediction Center