Be wary, although it appears Ian will not impact Sailboat Bay
Ian came ashore on the western edge of Cuba overnight as a Cat 3 hurricane. The system is moving over Cuba and will enter the Gulf of Mexico early today, where it is expected to regain any strength lost during the interactions with Cuba. The southeastern Gulf is extremely warm, and atmospheric conditions are conducive to hurricane development; Ian is forecast to strengthen further to become a Cat 4 storm. The current forecasts are quite useful, but still contain more uncertainty than usual for this stage of a hurricane’s life due to the complicated interactions with the frontal system that has provided welcome cooling here at Sailboat Bay.
The latest forecast issued this morning by the National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov), indicates that Ian will be steered to the north-northwest and strengthen rapidly as it encounters favorable atmospheric conditions and very warm Gulf waters. Ian is currently projected to then curl to the north-northeast, approach the coast of Florida south Tampa and make landfall in the very early morning hours of Thursday. The storm will then weaken as it moves northward through the Florida peninsula, across Georgia, and be near Charlotte, NC early Sunday morning. The NHC cautions that the differences between the projections of the track by the models the NHC uses is still rather large, so we will continue to closely monitor the available information and provide updates until Ian has dissipated. Ian will be a very large system as it churns northward in the Gulf, and the effects will extend many miles from the eye. The current forecast projects Sailboat Bay will begin to experience winds from Ian by mid-day Thursday, but the winds are unlikely to reach Tropical Storm strength (38 mph).
The Board urges Owners and residents to pay attention to forecasts for Ian. SBB owners are reminded that they need a plan to move outdoor furniture inside, secure boats in the marina (and remove canvas!), and ensure objects under our buildings are properly stored and secured 24 hours prior to storm arrival If the Board determines there is significant additional threat, owners will be advised by email and directed to remove ALL vehicles from under buildings. The SportsPlex on County Road 6 is one available option. Golf carts may be moved to the Boat Yard.
Updates will be posted as information becomes available.