• At 8am ET Thursday, Hurricane Rina was located 90 miles east-northeast of the Mexico/Belize border and 115 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico, which is also approximately 515 miles south-southwest of Key West, Florida.
• The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center has shifted south and southwest since last night. Now, all of Florida lies outside of the 5 day error cone.
• The chance of receiving tropical storm force winds in Florida has dramatically decreased. Only the far western Lower Florida Keys near Key West and the Dry Tortugas have a 6% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds within the next 5 days.
• There are no watches or warnings in place for Florida.
• Rina continues to weaken as it moves towards the Yucatan Peninsula and is barely a Category 1 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph.
• Additional weakening is expected due to a hostile environment and land interaction and Rina could be downgraded to a tropical storm sometime today.
• Rina is moving toward the northwest around 6 mph, but a turn to the north along with a slight increase in forward speed should occur today as it moves along the western edge of high pressure near the Bahamas. The center of Rina is expected to move very close or over the Yucatan Peninsula near Cozumel tonight and Friday.
• Computer models have shifted south since last night and are finally in better agreement, with all of the reliable computer models, and the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center, taking Rina temporarily east into the Yucatan Channel this weekend before being pushed southward into the Caribbean Sea and then dissipating next week.
• Even if Rina stays south of Florida, some of the moisture from Rina could be picked up by the approaching frontal system and could produce rainfall totals around 1-2 inches through Sunday. Also, ocean swells and breezy winds may affect much of South Florida and could lead to an increase in rip currents this weekend.
• Elsewhere, 97L in the central Caribbean Sea has become much less organized and the National Hurricane Center is now indicating a 0% chance of development.
More information on Hurricane Rina can be found at www.nhc.noaa.gov.