Buckle up buttercup. This one looks bad for Florida. It’s going to hit Florida as a major hurricane. The west coast of Florida and the Panhandle may take the brunt of it. That’s a lot of Florida. It will be a major rain maker over a much larger area. That’s a real problem in a part of the country where elevation is measured in inches, not feet.
I know the west coast of Florida fairly well. My lovely wife and I sailed small boats up and down the west coast. The coast is pretty low and wide open in a lot of areas. There’s not much to provide any protection. We love the Gulf side of Florida. It a bit more laid back than the east coast.
Tampa Bay is going to be a problem. That area hasn’t been hit by a major storm in some time. It’s been built up a lot since. No matter where the storm makes landfall, the sea rise and rainfall will cause major problems.
People in the potential path of the storm should have really assessed their situation by now. Personally I’d already be on my way to western Kentucky. If you wait until the last minute there’s a much greater chance of things going wrong. Fuel could run out. Traffic jams and accidents cause delays. If your vehicle has a mechanical problem you need time to fix it or find other options.
Once this passes through Florida the danger won’t be over. All that energy has to go somewhere. There will be flooding over a good part of the Southeast and probably into the Mid-Atlantic coast. It’s too early to predict how that will sort out so people in those areas best stay informed.