This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute nor should it be used in place of official information. Please follow and obey orders from local emergency management officials.
T.S. BONNIE 9:00 P.M. - WEDNESDAY - 8/11/04
No big surprises with Bonnie over the past 24 hours. The circulation was able to sustain itself overnight last night and under only very light shear this morning and today Bonnie made a nice comeback to a 65 mph Tropical Storm. That intensification has now leveled off. It is possible with continued light shear overnight tonight and very warm gulf waters Bonnie could reach minimal hurricane intensity (75 mph) by tomorrow morning. Thereafter, rapidly increasing southwest shear should at the very least halt intensification and perhaps even allow it to fall back some prior to a noontime landfall.
So right now look for a 65-75 mph system at time of landfall.
Bonnie will be rapidly picked up by s/w now over Texas and accelerated northeast after landfall….up the piedmont towards New England.
Will forecast landfall +/- 1 hour either side of noon tomorrow…between Panama City, Fl and St. George Island, Fl….a swath of roughly 60 miles. Strongest winds and highest surge will be near and to the right of where the center crosses the coast….a surge of 4-7 feet is possible. Winds of Tropical storm force will be confined to roughly 15-25 miles west of the center and up to 50 miles east of the center.
Rainfall of 5-7" near and to the right of where the center crosses the coast and somewhat lower amts to the left of the track…some very isolated 10" amts possible. These totals are in addition of what has already fallen over the Fl. Panhandle over the last 24 hours.
As Bonnie rapidly lifts northeast up the piedmont it will interact with the westerlies and a stalled front and enhance rainfall. Rainfall totals of 2-4" are a good bet roughly along I95 up into New England…would not be surprised to see some local Bonnie totals top 7" from eastern North Carolina….N.N.E. into southwest New England. Here in the Northern NJ / metro NYC area today a general 2-3" of rain has fallen with local totals over 6". Thus, the stage is set for some river flooding with the expected Bonnie rains and then rains from Charley.
Bottom line….a moderate to strong Tropical Storm/low end Cat 1 hurricane (75 mph) to make landfall vicinity of central Fl panhandle noontime tomorrow…then move quickly n.e. up the piedmont Thursday night and Friday.
Also, the quick forward speed up the coast will allow winds, especially in gusts…of 35-45 mph along and to the right of the track up the coast and into New England.
Will be interesting to watch.