The Florida Keys, Miami and Fort Lauderdale are out of the National Hurricane Center’s tropical
cyclone forecast track error cone for Hurricane Irene.
Just a sliver of the eastern Florida coastline, above Fort Lauderdale, is in the cone.
None of the hurricane forecast tracking models show the center of Irene crossing the Florida Keys at this time, said Andrew Devanas, science officer for the Key West National Weather Service, during a Monroe County Emergency Management briefing Tuesday morning.
Devanas said that based on the current forecast track, Irene’s closest approach to the Keys should be around midday Thursday, when the center of the storm should be about 200 miles east of Key Largo. The edge of sustained tropical storm-force winds might be around 50 miles east of Key Largo. Deviation in the track might increase the possibility of tropical storm-force winds in the Key Largo area, he said Devanas said tropical storm force winds might begin in the Florida Straits late Wednesday night and continue through Thursday night. Based on the current forecast track, some outer rain-bands might reach the Upper Keys and cause some ponding on Upper Keys streets and low-lying areas.
Seas in the Florida Straits, especially off the Upper and Middle Keys, are likely to be very rough from late Wednesday afternoon through Saturday morning. Small craft are advised to remain in, or close to port until seas subside.
No protective actions are planned at this time due to the storm, according to Irene Toner, the Keys emergency management director.
Because hurricane forecasting is not an exact science, weather and emergency management officials advise all interests in the Keys should continue to monitor future Hurricane Irene forecasts in the event of a change in the projected track.
Future complete advisories are to be issued if there is a significant change in the forecast track. Updates, when appropriate, are to be provided by the TDC’s eAlert system at www.fla-keys.com/alert.