So much for our hope that wind shear would weaken Wilma:
IT APPEARS THAT WIND SHEAR WILL REMAIN WEAK ENOUGH TO ALLOW FOR SOME GRADUAL ADDITIONAL INTENSIFICATION UP UNTIL LANDFALL
RAPID INTENSIFICATION SEEMS LESS UNLIKELY GIVEN THE RATHER LARGE SIZE OF THE EYE AND A LACK OF TIME FOR IT TO CONTRACT BEFORE LANDFALL IN FLORIDA. THE SHIPS GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO FORECAST A STEADY WEAKENING UNTIL LANDFALL DUE TO INCREASING SHEAR. HOWEVER… SATELLITE IMAGERY DOES NOT REVEAL ANY OBVIOUS SIGNS THAT THE SHEAR IS YET STRONG ENOUGH TO REVERSE THE CURRENT STRENGTHENING TREND…AND IT MIGHT NOT INCREASE IN TIME TO INDUCE A WEAKENING TREND BEFORE LANDFALL. THE BEST ESTIMATE OF LANDFALL INTENSITY IS CATEGORY TWO…BUT IT IS POSSIBLE THAT WILMA COULD BE NEAR CATEGORY THREE INTENSITY AS IT APPROACHES THE COAST.
There is apparently a 20-49% chance the eye will pass on top of us. How much Wilma might weaken over the relatively narrow Florida Peninsula, and how much we might get beat up if we are, say, 100 miles from the center, I cannot discern. The best information I can find is the wind speed chart which suggests a consensus forecast of maximum winds just under 100MPH at the worst point of the storm at the time when we might expect it here. That seems to make Miami’s worst-case Wilma a category two on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale. Presumably, the further you are from the center, the less chance of that sort of wind (modulo tornadoes, which are sometimes spun off hurricanes).
So the worst we can reaonbly expect is worse than our version of
Rita Katrina (a nasty storm, but just a one on the Saffir-Simpson scale), although perhaps not massively worse, as category one goes up to 95 MPH.
I expect the power may be out a while. Meanwhile, here is a picture of my hurricane security blanket.