Fickle Fay drenches FL, heads back into Atlantic… briefly

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Fay took a day and a half to cross diagonally across Florida, from landfall around 5am CDT Tuesday south of Fort Myers/Naples until reaching the east coast at Cape Canaveral, east of Orlando, this afternoon. Not only has Fay’s path been fickle (from an early landfall south of the expected landfall point), her intensity has been very hard to forecast as well! Making landfall 4-6 hours early coupled with dry air on her west side (making for a very asymmetric storm) kept her from reaching hurricane strength before coming ashore yesterday. Then, several hours after landfall, she actually increased in intensity slightly before weakening as typically happens while over land. One thing is for certain, many areas of Florida, particularly the east-central portion of the state, that were in need of rain are getting it! Some unofficial totals are nearing 2 FEET of rain since yesterday!!

Fay has now re-emerged over water into the Atlantic Gulf Stream where she is expected to re-organize slightly and make a left turn, heading back into northeast FL tomorrow. After that, Mother Nature only knows where fickle Fay will go, but tracks are pointing towards a slow progression across the FL panhandle or southern Georgia and Alabama. However, there are hints from a couple of models that perhaps a more southerly track will occur, which would mean more water time over the Gulf. This could be bad news for perhaps a third (fourth if you count Key West) landfall somewhere along the central Gulf coast early next week. Time will tell, and as unpredictable as she is, anything is certainly possible.

As for potential impacts to the Mid-South, my gut tells me we’ll see some precip in the area around the middle part of next week as Fay’s remnants round the strong high pressure situating itself over the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. Of course, my crystal ball is in need of a little polishing too…….

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