While Tropical Storm Katia churns out in the Atlantic and is expected to become a Major Hurricane in the next couple of days, forecast tracks toward the end of the week curve the system out to sea and away from Tampa Bay, the State of Florida, and the Southeast US. There are chances that locations from the Mid-Atlantic region northward towards the Atlantic Provinces of Canada may feel effects from the storm by next week, but it is too early to make exact predictions this far ahead of time. Closer to home, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring an area of disturbed weather about to enter the southeastern Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. Many computer models develop this system into a Tropical Storm in the Bay of Campeche or central Gulf of Mexico, but at this time it seems the areas most likely to be affected would be west of Pensacola. Still, any time there is a potential for development in the Gulf, the situation needs to be monitored closely. For more information, please visit the National Hurricane Center website at: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/, the AccuWeather Hurricane Center website at: http://hurricane.accuweather.com/hurricane/index.asp. Other Hurricane tracking links can be found at: http://centralstorm.wordpress.com/, and http://ExtremeStormCentral.com/ .
A new “K” name
The National Hurricane Center rotates Tropical Storm and Hurricane names for use on a seven year rotation. This years list of names coincides with the 2005 Hurricane Season, the worst on record, with 28 named Tropical Storms, 15 Hurricanes, seven Major Hurricanes, and four Category Five Hurricanes. If Katia sounds like a new name for a tropical system, there is good reason for that—it is. The 2005 Hurricane Season “K” storm was the now infamous Hurricane Katrina, which killed as many as 1,800 people and caused more than $80 billion in damage. This was the most destructive Hurricane on record in US History in dollar amounts, and the deadliest to strike the US since the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 (http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2008/08/21/5-deadliest-hurricanes-in-us-history). Whenever a tropical system produces a massive amount of damage and a large loss of life, the name is retired. Beyond any reasonable doubt, Katrina met both qualifications when she made landfall six years ago.
Late day rain Tuesday
While most of Tuesday stayed rain-free throughout Tampa Bay, thunderstorms moved into the area during the evening hours. While rainfall amounts had remained light through 9 PM, most locations were still reporting rain, so the totals could still increase before the storms dissipate. According to the National Weather Service, highs ranged from 87 in St. Petersburg to 91 at MacDill.
Wednesday and Thursday Outlook
Tampa Bay can expect slightly better-than-average thunderstorm coverage the next two days, averaging 50-60% Wednesday and 40-50% Thursday. After morning lows from 74-78, highs should reach 90-94 both days under partly sunny to mostly cloudy skies. Heat index values will approach 100 each afternoon. For more detailed weather information, visit the local National Weather Service website at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tbw/, and the Storm Team 8 Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/StormTeam8WFLA.