July 23, 2010
Bonnie Heading for the Gulf
A disorganized but fast-moving Tropical Storm Bonnie is moving toward the Florida Straits this morning, sending ships and workers scurrying from the immediate area of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The storm, which packs sustained winds of only 40 mph, was located about 155 miles southeast of Miami. The center of Bonnie is expected to pass near or over the Florida Keys or the southern tip of Florida later today and then into the eastern Gulf of Mexico tonight. The storm, which is not expected to strengthen much, is expected to make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday or early Sunday.
Bonnie, just barely a tropical storm as it moves to the west-northwest at 18 mph, should bring widespread amounts of only about a half-inch of rain to the Tampa Bay area. An inch of rain may fall in some areas. Winds will blow at about 15 to 20 mph, with higher gusts possible in some squalls. South of the Bay area, however, those numbers should be higher for both rainfall and the winds. Widespread rain of 1 to 2 inches is possible, with some places getting 3 to 4 inches. Winds will gust in the 20 to 30 mph range from Sarasota southward.
Bonnie's anticipated arrival in the Gulf meant that work at the BP Deepwater Horizon site had to be stopped. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen issued the order Thursday night to begin moving dozens of vessels from the spill site, including the rig that's drilling the relief tunnel engineers will use to permanently throttle the free-flowing crude near the bottom of the well. Some vessels could stay on site, he said.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR:
* THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS
* THE FLORIDA EAST COAST FROM DEERFIELD BEACH SOUTHWARD INCLUDING THE ENTIRE FLORIDA KEYS AND FLORIDA BAY AND ALONG THE WEST COAST OF FLORIDA NORTHWARD TO ENGLEWOOD
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR:
* THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA NORTH OF DEERFIELD BEACH TO JUPITER INLET AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE
* THE NORTHERN GULF COAST FROM DESTIN FLORIDA TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA
Posted by AG-ER Team at 7/23/2010