Just a brief late-afternoon update on Fay, as we wait for the 5:00 PM EDT advisory from the NHC.
• Dr. Jeff Masters says that, despite track similarities, Fay won’t be another Charley. He gives Fay a 10% chance of reaching major-hurricane status, but says that would only happen if it makes landfall along the Florida panhandle or points west, or crosses Florida and then re-strengthens en route to the Carolinas.
• Masters also writes: “It’s unusual for the computer models to be so divergent just 48 hours before expected landfall in the U.S. ‘The Joker‘ seems intent on keeping us guessing until the last day, and we really don’t know where this storm is going to go.” Confirming that point, the latest computer model runs are trickling in, and there’s still no consensus whatsoever about Fay’s likely track. (Note: the “new” runs are the ones labeled 1800Z rather than 1200Z. Also, pay no attention to XTRP or CLP5. Those are not real models.)
• The Orlando Sentinel offers residents suggestions on how to prepare for Fay’s approach. This comes a day after the New York Times reported that “a dangerous level of complacency appears to have overtaken Floridians despite destruction like that wrought by Hurricane Charley in Punta Gorda, Fla., in 2004.”
• Alan Sullivan has photos of Fay’s outermost squall band, visible this morning from his home in South Florida.
• Speaking of Sullivan, his criticism of Charlie Crist’s emergency declaration is rebutted in comments.
• Rand Simberg, also in South Florida, is trying to decide whether to shutter or not to shutter.
Incidentally, if you know of any other blogs where folks are liveblogging this storm, or otherwise posting good stuff about it, let me know!
I’ll post another update sometime this evening.