The plate of spaghetti models being served up by the National Hurricane Center does not look good for Tampa Bay.
After spending the better part of this past week scaring the sh*t out of South Florida, the latest forecast has Hurricane Irma tacking more and more west.
Instead of riding the Atlantic coastline north or traversing Florida’s spine through Orlando, the hurricane is projected could pack Category 3 strength after it makes its possible landfall near Fort Myers and moves through the Tampa Bay area on Monday morning. This would producing winds as high as 120 mph from Sunday around 8 p.m. through Monday around 8 a.m., according to WTSP Channel 10 meteorologist Grant Gilmore.
Along with the high winds, the storm could produce quick spin-up tornadoes and a possible 5-7 feet of storm surge across Tampa Bay — and perhaps up to 9 feet in some areas.
In other words, the “big one” Tampa Bay has been so fortunate to avoid for so long is coming.
And while you are welcomed to blame climate change for Irma herself, the Washington Post should be blamed for the hurricane bullseye-ing Tampa and St. Petersburg.
That’s right, the Washington Post.
In July, the Post published a front-page story documenting how the Bay area is the most vulnerable region in the United States to flood and damage if a major hurricane ever scores a direct hit.
Even small storms are troublesome as sea levels rise, the report said, pointing out that hard rain regularly floods neighborhoods in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.
Wth that report, The Post jinxed Tampa Bay like a football announcer who reminds the TV audience that the kicker hasn’t missed a field goal in his last thirty attempts.
And just like that kicker, Irma has gone wide left.