Tidal surge on the barrier islands will be between 4 and 6 feet above normal tide with near-shore waves of 10 to 16 feet this afternoon leading to significant beach erosion. There will also be dangerous rip currents through Sunday.
But National Weather Service Forecaster Barry Goldsmith says there might be good news regarding storm surge with the storm tracking farther west.
“If it intensifies again over the Gulf a lot of the wind fields will be wrapping into the storm and will actually help build the seas more out rather than in. Again, this isn’t to guarantee that there won’t be some rise –there definitely will be some rise, there definitely will be some overwash, rip currents and erosion by Sunday but the good news is that the highest of seas that could possibly punch inland are going to be out in the gulf, they’re not going to punch inland.”
He says sea level rise from Sarasota south will be minimal because Dennis is moving quickly. Bigger storm surges will affect Citrus and Levy counties and further up the gulf coast.
Goldsmith says Dennis could intensify over warm gulf waters possibly back into a category four before hitting land anywhere between Florida’s panhandle and Louisiana.
Saturday, 09 July 2005 01:00