I'm down for the count with a migraine today, so I'm stuck in my apartment, watching TV and the weather. Here in Miami, at least, there's not much to look at. It's a windy, overcast day. If anything happens, it's not supposed to be until later this afternoon or evening. It would SUCK to be in Ft. Myers right about now, though....
Charley is now a Category 4 Hurricane, with winds reaching 145 MPH. That wind speed is strong enough to do serious structural damage. Hurricane Andrew, which stormed through South Florida on August 24, 1992, was a Category 5 by the time in made landfall. Four, five...there's only numbers once you get to a certain point, and whether the winds are 145 MPH or 165 MPH, a lot of damage will be done.
We may well be on the way to dodging a bullet here in the Miami area. No matter what happens here, we will be getting only a glancing blow. Florida's Gulf Coast will be taking the brunt of this hurricane. We may feel lucky here, but someone in Tampa/St. Pete, Ft. Myers, or Port Charlotte is probably not feeling quite so fortunate right about now.
The good news, if there is any to be had, is that Charley seems to be moving quickly, and it should be out of Florida altogether by sometime on Saturday. Don't get too comfortable, though. There's another tropical depression out there, 275 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It could become Tropical Storm Danielle as early as tonight. Welcome to hurricane season in Florida.