Hurricane Wilma continues to set records of sorts. She’s developed into a Category 5 hurricane, with winds of up to 175 miles an hour. This morning, the barometric pressure in the eye was 882 mb, or 26.05 inches of mercury. As the 21st named storm of the year, she ties a record set back 1933. And, after two major category five storms this year in Katrina and Rita, no one in Florida is taking any chances.
Click the picture of Wilma above to see a larger version, courtesy of NOAA.
While forecasters have been talking about Wilma striking the West coast of Florida sometime overnight Saturday night, her exact path ultimately depends on her interaction with a low pressure system currently over the midwest. The assumption that Wilma will strike Florida, and then move up the East Coast to New England is based on the idea that the low, by then over the Great Lakes, will draw Wilma up, essentially combining the two storms.
However, another possibility exists where the two storms don’t interact at all. If that were to happen, Wilma might not even make the Florida coast, stalling before she gets to the Gulf of Mexico, hitting the Yucatan peninsula, and then rotating towards Cuba.
The National Hurricane Center admits that it is not as confident of the path and timing of Wilma as it had been previously. Meanwhile, here in Georgia, we sit between the two storms, enjoying weather that is 10 degrees above normal. Enjoy it now, because after whatever weather we get this weekend, it’s going to be below normal through the middle of next week.