(5:13 p.m.) -- Update: As of 5 p.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Fay was located near Key West and about 145 miles south of Ft. Myers, Florida. Maximum sustained winds are around 60 miles per hour, and the Florida Keys are already experiencing some flooding. The storm should reach the southwestern coast of Florida by Tuesday, and it is still expected to become a hurricane as it crosses the warm Gulf waters between the Keys and the Florida peninsula.
(12:04 p.m.) -- At 11 a.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center reported the center of Tropical Storm Fay to be 70 miles south-southeast of Key West and 65 miles east-northeast of Havana, Cuba. A hurricane warning is in effect for the southwestern coast of Florida, and a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch are in effect for the Florida Keys, as well as mainland Florida.
Tropical Storm Fay is moving toward the north-northwest at a speed of 13 miles per hour, and is expected to turn north later today. The storm should reach the Florida Keys this afternoon or tonight and approach the southwest coast of Florida on Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds are around 60 miles per hour (74 miles per hour is hurricane strength), and the storm is forecast to become a hurricane on Tuesday when it approaches mainland Florida. The three-day forecast shows the storm crossing the Florida peninsula from southwest to northeast.
High tides, heavy rain and isolated tornadoes are possible in the Florida Keys and southern Florida peninsula today. Tourists have been evacuated from the Florida Keys and the airport has shut down for the day. The approaching storm has forced some cruise lines to make changes to itineraries calling in Key West or crossing the path of the storm.
We'll continue to monitor this storm and its impact on cruise itineraries and ports such as Key West; stay tuned to Cruise Critic for the latest info.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
Tropical Storm Fay Forces Cruise Lines to Adjust Itineraries
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Update: Tropical Storm Fay Nears Florida
August 18, 2008