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.
Charley continues to look quite robust on latest IR satellite imagery. There is excellent outflow in all but the southwest quadrant and that is improving as an upper level low (as seen on WV imagery) backs west and improves the overall ventilation of Charley. Banding features are also very well pronounced. All this says to me that with some high oceanic heat content available ahead of Charley (some of the warmest water in the Atlantic basin lies south of Cuba) he should be free to slowly but steadily intensify over the next 24-48 hours.
Track….Believe TPC will be shifted to the left in future packages. I expect Charley to pass WEST of the Isle of Youth..then over EXTREME western Cuba as it emerges into the S.E. Gulf of Mexico…early Friday morning (12Z)…also think TPC track is going to be too fast. Assuming my thinking is correct this will spare the Keys a direct hit….thinking here is the center of Charley will pass some 100 miles WEST of Key West Florida.
Not going into all the various model solutions here…..I'm not buying the westward track toward Texas by the 12Z EC…there is still a lot of s/w energy to dig into the eastern trof and right now I believe this will pick up Charley and accelerate him northeast up the U.S. east coast just east of the mountains.
As per last nights discussion a landfall on the west coast of Florida seems like the best solution…..somewhere between Cedar Key and Sarasota.
Intensity…..Still see no reason to back off on a 100-115 mph hurricane in the s.e. gulf by Friday.
Bottom line….if you live anywhere from the AL/FL border south to Fort Myers, Fl (especially from Cedar Key to Sarasota) you need to pay very close attention to future updates.
I think….but not certain yet that the keys will be spared a DIRECT hit.