Tropical Storm Warnings have been issues for South Florida!!!
Tropical Storm Fay unexpectedly shifts to the north early. Fay is about to emerge north of Cuba with maximum sustained winds around 60 mph. Fay is expected to strengthen over the warm waters of the Florida Straits.
Hurricane watches are in effect for the Florida Keys as well as along the Florida mainland from Card Sound Bridge to Tarpon Springs.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Florida Keys and for southeastern Florida from Ocean Reef northward to Jupiter Inlet.
Tropical storm watches have been implemented north of Jupiter Beach to Sebastian Inlet.
As of 8 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Fay is located at 23.2 north, 81.2 west, or about 100 miles south-southeast of Key West, Fla. Maximum-sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. Fay is moving northwest at 12 mph. Fay is moving off the northern coast of Cuba now.
Fay is emerging into the Florida Straits this morning as a tropical storm. 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 ramp up to near hurricane strength before moving closer to southwestern Florida on Monday night into Tuesday. The storm will bring heavy rain today through Tuesday across the Keys and all of southern Florida. Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches are expected, with isolated amounts of 12 inches, causing flash flooding.
There is still a fairly widespread area of possible tracks according to computer models, from the southwest coast of Florida all the way to the western Panhandle of Florida. A more westward track would allow Fay to have more time in open waters, resulting in a potentially stronger storm. The farther east the storm goes, the less time it will have to strengthen. It also seems more certain now that Fay will head into no-man’s-land with relatively weak steering flow midweek. This could mean a slow, erratic storm movement. Some ideas suggest that Fay could even stall for a day or two.
Emergency School Hotlines
In Miami-Dade: 305-468-5400 (Classes cancelled Monday August 18, 2008)
In Broward: 754-321-0321 (Classes cancelled Monday August 18, 2008)
In Palm Beach County: 561-357-7500 (No announcement of class status for Monday August 18, 2008) (The message is recorded in English, Spanish and Creole)
Note: This was posted 18-AUG-2008 at 9:30 AM EDT