Hurricane Rina is spinning off Mexico’s Caribbean coast and is expected to impact the Yucatan Peninsula by Thursday.
After that, some forecast models have the system heading east. But, Michael Brennen with the National Hurricane Center said there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the forecast track.
“Folks in southern Florida should still be paying attention to Rina as we go through the work week – it’s still something that could impact the keys and south Florida as we get into the weekend but it’s too soon to tell if there’s going to be a direct threat,” he said.
Rina is currently a Category 2 hurricane but it’s expected to get stronger. This is the time of year when hurricanes typically form in the Caribbean – hurricane season officially ends Nov. 30.
National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read says Hurricane Charley, which made landfall in Charlotte County in 2004, is an example of a storm that intensified in an unpredictable manor. “I wasn’t a fulltime employee at the Hurricane Center but I was detailed over here for Charley and we all had that knot in the pit of our stomach about not being able to forecast that in advance, just observing it.”
Charley strengthened from a category 2 to a category 4 hurricane in less than two hours and made landfall about 100 miles south of Tampa Bay - where forecasters initially said it was headed.
The information exchange between federal and military officials, emergency managers and researchers concludes Thursday with recommendations to improve predictions for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season which begins June 1.
2004 The Category 4 storm, packing winds of up to 145 miles an hour,
decimated downtown and leveled nearby mobile home communities. Trees
and utility poles toppled, roofs were ripped off homes and many
residents waited weeks for utilities to be restored. The city is
marking the anniversary with a number of events, including a
celebration on Saturday of the “Extreme Makeover” Punta Gorda has
undergone since Charley. Former Governor Jeb Bush will speak. And a
group of foreign diplomats is also touring the town. That event was
organized by Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce President John Wright –
formerly of the British Consulate in Miami – who spoke to WGCU’s