The Mess in the Atlantic

The red "I", courtesy of the University of Wisconsin, is the meteorological center of the messy system in the Atlantic that has (relatively) strong winds (gusts to 60 mph) but no real organization.

So, should you change your plans if you live in Florida or are planning to visit? Go ahead and get frustrated with meteorologists: I don't blame you.

The problem is that our tropical storm and hurricane forecasting techniques are built around weather systems that have a well-defined center which this mess certainly does not. The problem is that the system is headed in the general direction of the Bahamas and then the United States. Water temperatures are extremely high and the system -- might -- strengthen rapidly when it gets over that water. Or, it might not do anything just as it has refused to organize the last couple of days.

I'd like to be able to tell you we'll have a lot better idea tomorrow but the weather system did not get better organized today as I had expected yesterday.

So, what to do?

If you live in Florida south of I-4: I repeat my advice of this morning. If someone with special needs is under your care (who needs continuous power or special medicine, for example) it is time to act now to insure those needs are met. Gusty winds and very heavy rains are possible even if the storm does not organize into a named tropical storm.

For everyone else, please keep an eye on the local weather forecasts and be prepared to take hurricane precautions if the forecast indicates. My personal opinion is that I would not plan a discretionary trip to Florida this weekend but would wait a week or so.

If you wish to tell your friends about this blog, it would be appreciated. I promise hype-free information, along with my colleagues at AccuWeather, that is aimed at being genuinely helpful rather than generating clicks.


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