This is wrong.
Everyone is putting their guard down in Tampa.
The damn monster is still a couple days away from a U.S. mainland landfall and already people are starting to think they're out of the woods, now that the track looks on course for Appalachicola and Tallahassee.
All that might be true, but this is one big bitch of a storm. Just because it isn't going to wink it's eye over Tampa Bay (which it could still possibly do at the last moment) doesn't mean we won't get some catastrophic offshoots from being grazed by this mutha. Models, shmodels.
It's killed 50 people already in Grenada and Jamaica. No word yet on how bad it will rough up the Caymans. But the indications are grim for Cuba.
Willie Drye, author of Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935
, is more than a little disturbed by the latest readings on Ivan.
Ivan just became the latest member of the monster hurricane club. As of 5 p.m. today, the thing has a barometric pressure reading of 26.98 inches. That reading is the lowest since Hurricane Gilbert bottomed out at 26.22 in 1988. You just don't see them crack 27.00 too often.
This means Ivan could scrub the Cayman Islands off the map with sustained winds of 165 mph and gusts of 200 mph or better. And the Caymans won't even be a speed bump for Cuba. All those beautiful old buildings in Havana...
It looks like Ivan is going to swing west of the Keys and make landfall as maybe a 3 somewhere around Cedar Key. Have talked with a couple of public officials in the Keys today, they're relieved but wary.
Coincidentally, my friend Eliot Kleinberg, author of "Black Cloud: The Great Hurricane of 1928
," sends this woeful note:
By a series of convergences, my three favorite sports teams in the world -- Miami Dolphins, Florida Gators, and Florida Marlins -- play on the same day. At the exact same time. And I'll miss all three becasue I will be at work watching a hurricane.
We all have our crosses to bear, Eliot.
Posted by Jeff at September 12, 2004 05:17 PM