UPDATE: Tropical Storm Fay Remains on Course for Florida

August 18, 2008

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT the center of Tropical Storm Fay was about 70 Miles (115 kms) south-southeast of Key West Florida and about 65 miles (103 kms) east-northeast of Havana Cuba.

Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency as the storm nears the U.S. (See related article in Southeast section).

“Fay is moving toward the north-northwest near 13 mph (20 km/hr); a turn toward the north with a slower forward speed is expected later today and tonight…with a generally northward motion expected on Tuesday,” said the latest bulletin from Miami’s National Hurricane Center. The storm’s center “should be near the Florida Keys this afternoon or tonight,” the NHC continued, and “near the southwest coast of the Florida peninsula on Tuesday.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/hr) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours,” and the NHC warned that Fay is forecast to become a hurricane as it nears Florida.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 kms) from the center. Wind gusts to tropical storm force are already being reported in some parts of the Florida Keys and the southeast coast of Florida.

In addition to the winds, the NHC said “storm tides of 3 to 5 feet above normal are possible along the southwestern coast of Florida near the center of Fay. Tides of 2 to 4 ft above normal are possible in the Florida Keys.”

The storm is expected to drop between 4 to 8 inches of rain over Cuba with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches. “These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides,” said the NHC. Heavy rains are expected to spread across south Florida today. Storm total amounts of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches are possible for the Florida Keys and South Florida. Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches are possible in the northwestern Bahamas.”

A hurricane warning is in effect for Florida’s southwest coast. A tropical storm warning is in effect along Florida’s eastern coast from Cocoa Beach southward…and along the west coast east of flamingo, including Lake Okeechobee.

Source: National Hurricane Center – www.nhc.noaa.gov

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