This blog is written primarily for the residents of South Florida in the WPLG viewing area.
Many people have already asked me if Tropical Storm Gustav is coming to South Florida. The answer is that it is way to early to say for certain. Anytime we have a developing tropical cyclone southeast of us, in the peak of the hurricane season, and headed in our general direction, we need to closely monitor it. The current forecast from the National Hurricane Center as of 5:00 pm on Monday, August 25, is below.
Tropical Storm Gustav Forecast from 5:00 pm August 25, 2008
Although the center of Gustav is forecast to be over western Cuba in 5 days on the current forecast, the Cone of Uncertainty covers the Florida Keys and about half of the Florida peninsula. The ultimate track will be determined, in part, by what happens to the mid-level high pressure system now over Florida. A peek at the computer guidance from this evening suggests that this high is likely to remain strong enough to keep the center of Gustav mostly south of Cuba. The official track will be shifted a little more to the south in future forecasts if this high persists. NOAA will be flying its jet in the environment around Gustav starting Tuesday afternoon. This data will get into the computer models initialized Tuesday evening which should improve the confidence in the future forecasts. Until the confidence becomes higher that Gustav will remain to our south, it is obviously wise to keep an eye on it.