Sunday, September 18, 2005

Tropical Storm Rita

From the Sun Sentinel:

Yet another tropical system is suddenly threatening to come perilously close to South Florida and could slam the Keys.

Tropical Storm Rita was projected to become a hurricane within the next two days and aim south of the tip of the state. Yet it also was forecast to graze South Florida with gusty winds and 2-4 inches of rain, starting Monday night and Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Miami said.

The lower Keys appeared to be most endangered as the core was forecast to move about 50 miles south of Key West on Tuesday. On Sunday a mandatory evacuation of non-residents and visitors was ordered from the Seven Mile Bridge to Key West, and the entire Keys chain was placed under a hurricane watch. A tropical storm watch was issued for South Florida from Deerfield Beach in Broward County across the peninsula to East Cape Sable, an area that includes Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Much of South Florida was in the cone of uncertainty on Sunday, and Miami-Dade County stands to see stronger winds and more rain than Broward or Palm Beach counties, said meteorologist Dan Gregoria of the weather service.

The good news is that the early track shows it threading the needle of the Florida Straits and not making landfall, so at this stage it looks like all we’ll get is a lot of rain and wind (fingers crossed). Dammit, I just washed the car.