WHEN FAY IS OVER WATER…IT APPEARS THAT ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR STRENGTHENING THROUGH 72 HR. THUS…THE INTENSITY WILL BE CONTROLLED BY LAND INTERACTION AND THE RESULTING IMPACTS ON THE STORM STRUCTURE. ALL GUIDANCE FORECASTS STRENGTHENING…AND THE INTENSITY FORECAST FOLLOWS SUIT IN BEST AGREEMENT WITH THE SHIPS MODEL. HOWEVER…THIS IS A LOW CONFIDENCE INTENSITY FORECAST. FAY COULD STRENGTHEN RAPIDLY IF IT BECOMES WELL ORGANIZED OVER WATER. ON THE OTHER HAND IT MIGHT NOT STRENGTHEN MUCH AT ALL IF LAND INTERACTION PREVENTS ORGANIZATION.
(from Tropical Storm Fay, Discussion Number 4)
They moved the track just enough east to make it more likely Miami gets roughed up a bit; we're now at a 50% cumulative probability to get hit by at least tropical storm level winds, up from about a third last night. Tropical Storm level winds knock down trees, cause some flooding, but other than losing power (almost none of our region's cables are buried, everyone is too cheap to pay the upfront cost, not to mention the higher maintenance), we tend to be fine. True hurricane winds do more, depending how strong they are, although the weakest technical hurricane isn't that much worse that tropical storm.
So we face two known unknowns: the track — which is always uncertain, as hurricanes zig and zag in ways we don't yet know how to predict (and a tiny difference is huge to the people underneath) — and, more unusually, great uncertainty about intensity. There's often some, but not this much. I hear via the grapevine from the hurricane experts at RSMS that the envelope of possibilities stretches up to a category three hurricane, which would be a pretty nasty one.
We filled up the car; did some shopping last night. I got some gas to run the generator. Roads seem a little busier than usual, but that could have been true just with back-to-school (public schools start Monday, as does the Law School). The gas station had no queues. We have hurricane glass now, so my major per-hurricane activity of putting up metal shutters is a thing of the past.
We don't have a giant ton of food, but we have enough to get by for several days. I feel like I should do more to prepare, but can't think what.