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Saturday synopsis; Wilma wreckage

Jason Samenow @ 12:18 AM

It now appears only about 1/4 of this weekend will be wet -- good news for those who want to be outside. Wilma is wreaking havoc on the Yucatan peninsula.


An area of low pressure will move northeast up the Appalachians today. Its associated warm front will probably not make it far enough north to dislodge the cool wedge over our area. By the time it approaches, the low will be passing to our north and the cold front swinging through -- all in the early afternoon time frame.

The bottom line is to expect morning showers today followed by mostly cloudy skies. The afternoon, while cool, may well be mostly dry. High temperatures should be in the low 60s.

Sunday will be partly cloudy, blustery and cool with highs near 60.

Wilma update

Wilma has been relentlessly pounding the Yucatan peninsula. I fear the damage in Cancun and Cozumel will be catastrophic. Little may be left in Cozumel. The eye went directly over the island and it suffered hour after hour of Category 4 intensity wind, rain and surge. As I write this, it is being struck by the southern eyewall. I imagine this battering is more than this resort destination can withstand. I hope I'm wrong.

As for Cancun, reports "a surface station ... reported a wind gust to 133 mph before all contact was lost." Loyal reader Roger Rafler pointed me to a Cancun storm blog, which offered the following information at 7:30pm last night:
As of this point 99% of Cancun and the entire Riveria Maya for that reason is without power ... The winds are now EXTREMELY powerful, the noise is loud, the building is shaking, and the storm seems to be very angry.
At 10:30pm, the blog stated:
It seems the worst of the storm will be here from 3 to 5AM local time when we can expect to see waves up to 8 meters high hitting the shoreline. Several hotels have been reported to be severally damaged, and the Lagoon is now meeting the ocean in various parts of the hotel zone.
Hurricane Wilma Streaming Video, Images, Stories & More: WxNation

Pictured: Southern eyewall of Wilma over Cozumel, northern eyewall over Cancun around 1 am today. Dark red coloring (over Cancun) coincides with very high cloud tops, intense convection and fierce winds

Wilma: Where to?

The storm is still expected to head towards southwest Florida, making landfall Monday or Tuesday. Marco Island to Ft. Myers seems to be the target area. After weakening over the Yucatan, it will likely restrengthen a bit when it emerges over water and moves over the warm Gulf loop current. However, wind shear will likely limit the amount of re-intensification. I, and many others, still believe Category 2 is the most likely landfall intensity in Florida. The intensity probabilities I posted yesterday stand.

After Florida, the storm will likely go out to sea (75% probability), but there remains a small chance it could flirt with the East Coast.

Weekend Eventcast

San Francisco at Washington
Where: Fed Ex Field
When: Sunday, 1pm
Weather Impact: Breezy and cool but dry. Great football weather. Temperatures in the upper 50s during the game.
What to wear: Jacket or warm fleece weather. Dress in layers.

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