Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma continues to be a potential problem. As of 8 am on Tuesday, 5 September, there remains too much uncertainty to determine if Irma will interfere with the conference. Although the odds continue to be against such interference, the possibility that its presence with begin to impact the conference–particularly the Sunday sessions–is now significant.
Later this morning we will be sending out an email to conference registrants providing our current appraisal of the situation.
We continue to monitor the weather and the data sources that follow:
Point 1: If Irma does affect Tampa, it appears that it will do so after the conference
Based upon the 5-day plot from the National Hurricane Center (accessible at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ through the “Static Cone/Warnings” graphic), at its current speed, Irma is most likely to reach central Florida early Monday morning.
This is consistent with the “Wind Speed Probabilities” table, listed on the same page, which does not show any probability of arrival before Saturday, and even then, it would be the tropical storm force winds that precede the hurricane itself. The range–now showing a 21% chance of tropical force winds–shown is from 2 am Saturday to 2 am Sunday, local time.
Point 2: A growing number of models suggest that Tampa may be in the region that Irma impacts
The spaghetti plots–compiled by the South Florida Water Management District (https://www.sfwmd.gov/weather-radar/hurricane-model-plots)–are continuing to converge on the west coast of Florida which–unfortunately–is where Tampa Bay is located. We should be careful reading too much into these plots, however, since the models can shift quickly. Monday evening, for example, they appeared to be converging on Florida’s east coast, and some individual models are still heading in that direction.