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The farther east Ike travels, the less severe weather for DFW

It just depends what side of the hurricane you're on.

Wednesday night's forecast has Tarrant County faring just a little bit better than Tuesday's forecast for when the remnants of Hurricane Ike pass through.

That's because models updated late Wednesday showed the center of the storm passing east of the Metroplex. Earlier models had the storm passing to the west.

Ike is expected to be downgraded to tropical-storm strength by the time it moves up the Interstate 35 corridor and hits Central Texas on Saturday evening. By Sunday night, it will likely be north of the Red River.The area isn't in the clear, by any means, said Daniel Huckaby, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

"If the track is off by 50 miles it might make a difference in the wind and rain, but it'll still make a significant impact if it comes into North Texas," Huckaby said.

Because the storm will be moving north when it reaches North Texas, according to Wednesday night's model, the eastern side of the storm will carry slightly stronger winds and a greater potential for tornadoes, he said.

"Because of counterclockwise rotations, winds on the eastern side have the forward motion of the storm and the winds themselves, so you get stronger winds on the right side than the left," Huckaby said.

In this area, sustained winds of 30 mph to 40 mph are possible with gusts up to 60 mph late Saturday and early Sunday, according to the forecast.

Southeast of Dallas, gusts could reach hurricane force, 74 mph, with sustained winds in the 50 mph range.

In this area, expect at least 4 inches of rain if the latest predicted track holds true. Some areas could get up to 8 inches accompanied by flash flooding.

There's also a potential for isolated tornadoes, but those will likely be east of the Dallas near the storm's center.

Ike's path and speed may significantly change, Huckaby said.

"When we're talking about something that's three days out, there could still be significant change," he said.

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