UNCERTAINTY OF TRACK ON THE WEEKEND

Models fairly agree on first 3 days track of TD #4. to be named Colin.

Forecasting more than 5 days into the future is virtually impossible as far as hurricanes are concerned. There are too many unforeseen scenarios that can ultimately affect the motion of the storm in that time frame.

In 1964, I had a unique experience associated the impact of two different hurricanes on the Jacksonville area. On August 27, the first hurricane, Cleo, was forecast to pass just east of Miami overnight. Unfortunately, Miamians were awakened by winds up to 135 mph as Cleo intensified and made a jog westward to the coast. Weeks later Florida’s Senator George Smathers called for an investigation on the reason for the missed forecast. As Cleo moved to the north northwest just inland from the coast of Florida, Jacksonville was included in the hurricane warnings for the next day. But being mostly over land Cleo weakened to a moderate tropical storm by the time it reached Duval county. The highest winds were only 50 mph at Jacksonville Beach and 43 mph at Jacksonville’s Imeson Airport.

Many of our local residents thought our hurricane warnings were not needed. As a result on Monday, August 31 I broadcast on Channel 4 why we didn’t have a hurricane, and went into detail what our greatest hurricane threat would be – a hurricane striking the coast directly from the Atlantic. Little did I know that the next storm, Dora, which formed the next day on September 1 would be one of these. It first appeared that Dora would head northward over the open Atlantic towards Bermuda. But on September 6, Dora turned westward towards the Florida coast and on the night of September 9-10 became the first full-force hurricane to hit St. Augustine and Jacksonville since records began in 1872.

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