Saturday, November 7, 2009

Less of Florida now in Ida's cone

As of 4 p.m. today, Manatee County and the rest of the Tampa Bay region was barely within the boundaries of Tropical Storm Ida's five-day "cone of uncertainty," according to the National Hurricane Center. (Here's a link to the latest advisory from the NHC.)

Forecasters predict that the storm, which will soon brush past Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, will by early Wednesday afternoon be parked off the Florida Panhandle. But they were holding off on a prediction of where it might make landfall because they were not sure how it would be affected by a front moving in from the north.

The current weather forecast for Bradenton calls for a 30 percent chance of rain on Monday night, increasing to 50 percent on Tuesday, before dropping to 40 percent on Tuesday night and 30 percent on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

More from the Associated Press:
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Ida's winds strengthened to near 70 mph (110 kph), just short of a Category 1 hurricane. A tentative forecast track predicted Ida could brush the U.S. Gulf Coast next week as a tropical storm.
Tropical-storm warnings were issued for the Mexican coastline from Punta Allen, south of Tulum, to San Felipe at the top of the Yucatan Peninsula, an area that includes Cancun. The warnings were also in effect for western Cuba and Grand Cayman Island.

A hurricane watch was in effect from Tulum to Cabo Catoche.
As rain began pelting down in Cancun, the beaches were empty but tourists walked the streets under umbrellas or improvised rain ponchos.

"We are on yellow alert but the tourists are walking around normally in the streets and the shopping centers," said policeman Marco Morales Rodriguez.

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