Just took a look at the end of the day measurements through the Keys on ikitesurf. The Keys were getting raked by Ike feeder bands all day with quite a few embedded squalls. It seems like a lot of the squalls in feeder bands emphasized KW and the Islamorada areas. Areas between were honking strong too, just with fewer spikes approaching 60 mph.
The whole day at Upper Matecumbe near Islamorada. Three spikes to almost 60 mph, that may be a record (at least that was captured). Can see some guys thinking to tough it out after 9:30 to about 12. What was it Mr. Bill used to say? Oh yeah, oh noooo, just before he goes splat against something.
Key West airport was no picnic either. Look at all those gust lull cycles per hour, only about a 30 mph+ gust range. Wonder what the winds were like out away from land shadow effects?
Sand Key is miles offshore from Key West and away from most windshadow. Then again, NWS doesn't have as good a capture rate as ikitesurf so the gusts and lulls are usually smoothed out. This gives the deceptive view of more steady winds than might actually exist. Still, 50 to 70 mph, no problem, right? What is the rule of thumb wind speed reduction from Sand Key to Smathers in normal winds anyway? Say about 3 to 5 mph less? Good day to sit out in short.
Good luck to the Gulf states with this one.