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Thu Sep 29 & Fri Sep 30 Outlook
Having closed airports across FL peninsula, Ian emerges over Atlantic late tomorrow before making second landfall along GA/SC coast
Welcome to any new readers! And as a reminder to long-ish time readers, we’re testing a new format for these outlooks. To both old and new—we’re grateful you’re here.
If you have questions about the content of this outlook, the answers might be in this post (we keep adding to it). Otherwise, let us know if something doesn’t make sense (we welcome feedback of all kinds!).
Thursday, September 29
Our Holt-Winters model forecasts TSA will screen 2.287 million travelers (± 0.5σ, or a prediction interval of about 38%, is 2.23-2.435 million travelers), though it doesn’t see cancellations—and the people that don’t travel as a result. With 1,600 flights already cancelled for tomorrow (only two days this past summer had more), we’d expect actual screenings to come in towards the [very] low end of our forecast.
Ian is forecast to make landfall later this morning or early afternoon near Tampa Bay; interaction with a stalled frontal boundary will slow its progression. The center of Ian is expected to move across central Florida through early Thursday before emerging over the Atlantic later tomorrow. By Thursday night, an axis of heavy rain should be just offshore of the Georgia/South Carolina coast.
Though these reopening dates/times are subject to change, as of 10 a.m. Wednesday:
Key West (EYW) reopens at noon ET Wed
Sarasota (SRQ) reopens at 8 p.m. ET Thu
Orlando (MCO) reopens 10:30 a.m. ET Fri
Fort Myers (RSW) and Tampa Bay (TPA) reopen at noon ET Fri
Elsewhere, weather around DEN turns unsettled as some monsoonal moisture returns to the Southern Rockies (while mixed precip hatching inches closer to the airport, probabilities for frozen precipitation are zero per the SREF).
Friday, September 30
We forecast TSA will screen 2.297 million travelers (± 0.5σ, or a prediction interval of about 38%, is 2.24-2.36 million travelers).
Ian may strengthen slightly before it makes a second landfall somewhere along the GA or SC coast. There’s still some uncertainty as to whether really heavy rain materialize around CLT Friday night; tropical storm-force winds are not expected that far inland. Continued expansion of Ian waivers bears watching: Delta has grown their waiver to include smaller airports in GA (Brunswick, Columbus, Savannah) but not ATL (they’ve also included Hilton Head, SC). American has yet to expand their waiver beyond Florida, though their CLT hub is at least a decent candidate.
Through the operating period on Friday, Ian—or its remnants, more aptly—look to only increase clouds around DCA (though Saturday will be a different story).
While it links to a Google Sheet, it’s an Excel file and relies on the XLOOKUP function, which does not exist in Sheets. You can download the file and open in Excel, which should resolve the #NAME? error; if any readers don’t have Excel, let us know and we can work on a solution.