Some models had the storm striking Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, after moving across Cuba or the Bahamas as early as Sunday morning.
Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at Weatherunderground.com, said long range storm track predictions five days in advance are notoriously inaccurate, often off an average of 260 miles.
In one projection, a low pressure system moving across the Atlantic develops into a tropical storm and makes landfall in Tampa during the convention, said Jeff Masters, founder of the Ann Arbor, Michigan based Weather Underground.
But Masters said the climate situation has improved chances that Florida could be in the system’s sights during the GOP event that runs Monday through Thursday.
GOP and Tampa officials say they have contingency plans in case a storm blows through.
About 70,000 delegates, party officials, journalists, protesters and others are expected for the convention that culminates in the nomination of former Massachusetts Gov.
A tropical storm forming in the Caribbean could pose a potential threat to Florida next week during the Republican National Convention.
“We’re in close touch with all the federal, state and local agencies. We’re focused on preparing still and having a great event starting on Monday.”.
In May, a hurricane striking the Tampa Bay region during the convention was the scenario that Floridas emergency managers modeled during the states annual disaster exercise.
By early Sunday, its expected to be a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph sustained winds south of Cuba.
“At this point, we’re prepared for everything,” said Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor on Tuesday.
Forecasters say that fortunately for Tampa, most Gulf storms emerge earlier or later in the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov.
Floridas west coast was last hit by a major hurricane in 2004, by Hurricane Charley, with 150mph winds.
At least 1,836 people died in the actual hurricane and in the subsequent floods, making it the deadliest US hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane; total property damage was estimated at $81 billion , nearly triple the damage wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
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