Watches go into effect for South Florida: Tropical Storm Fay is currently located south of Cuba – Hurricane Watches are in effect for the Florida Keys and southwest Florida – south of Bonita Springs (which includes Naples and Marco Island). Tropical Storm watches are now in effect for Southeast Florida – south of Jupiter Inlet (including Lake Okeechobee, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties)
Update: 8:00 AM update for Sunday, August 17, 2008 (from AccuWeather)
After just skimming Cape Cruz, Cuba, early this morning, Tropical Storm Fay is located at 20.0 north, 78.0 west. Maximum-sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. Fay is still moving west-northwest at 13 mph. Some strengthening is expected today as Fay turns on a northwest track through Gulf of Guancanayabo. Fay may be a weak Category 1 hurricane before making more direct landfall near Trinidad, Cuba, tonight. Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches are expected across Cuba, Jamaica, and the northern Cayman islands. Isolated amounts of 15 inches are possible, which would cause flash flooding and mudslides.
Hurricane watches are in effect for much of Central Cuba, including La Habana, as well as the Florida Keys, as well as much of South Florida. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Cuba from the Province of Sancti Spiritus eastward to Guantanamo and for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Fay will weaken as it moves across Cuba, and is forecast to emerge into the Florida Straits as a tropical storm on Monday. Sea surface temperatures in this region are very warm and warm water runs deep in the Florida Straits. This area of deep, warm water will cause Fay to quickly ramp back up to hurricane strength before moving over the Florida Keys, sometime on Monday afternoon or Monday night.
As of this posting, all schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties have NOT BEEN CANCELLED. Students are scheduled to begin the school year on Monday, August 18, 2008.
Emergency School Hotlines
In Miami-Dade: 305-468-5400
In Broward: 754-321-0321
In Palm Beach County: 561-357-7500 (The message is recorded in English, Spanish and Creole)
Note: This was posted 17-AUG-2008 at 11:30 PM 10:00 AM EDT