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Note To Tampa: We Tried To Warn You

Published August 20, 2012 5:18 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

You might recall a few years back, when national Republican big-shots were putting together plans for the 2012 nominating convention, that Salt Lake City decided it would be a good idea to make a run at hosting the get-together.

When the bid committee visited Salt Lake in April 2010, they were shuttled around to see the various hotels and convention amenities and at one point were shown a mock weather forecast for August 2012, featuring Roland Steadham, who was the weatherman for Channel 4 at the time.

Steadham took a poke at the other competitors in the mix, suggesting nobody would want to be in Phoenix where it was 120 degrees, and over in Tampa, a hurricane heading for the Gulf Coast was causing all sorts of havoc.

Now, more than two years later, Steadham could prove to be the most prescient weatherman in the country.

Forecasters are tracking "Invest 94-L", a good-sized system way out in the Atlantic, but clipping toward Cuba with the potential to become a tropical storm or hurricane and hit the Gulf Coast right around the start of the convention. If this disturbance materializes into a hurricane, it would be named Hurricane Isaac.

Obviously these things can change quickly. But if you're planning to be in Tampa, might want to bring a poncho. And if the storm comes through, well, organizers can't say they weren't warned well in advance.

Coincidentally, it wouldn't be the first time a hurricane has messed with the GOP Convention. Four years ago, the convention started a day late, after Hurricane Gustav, a category 2 hurricane, smacked into Louisiana.

— Robert GehrkeTwitter: @RobertGehrke