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T.S. BONNIE 9:00 P.M. - TUESDAY - 8/10/04

Bonnie is fighting to hang on at this hour. The cyclone currently consists of a small ball of convection around a very tight and small surface circulation. Northerly shear (albeit modest) is taking a toll on this small system. The remainder of this discussion assumes the convection can remain associated with the sfc feature for the next 12 hours. If the center should become exposed it may be very difficult for Bonnie to hang on as a viable tropical system.

I believe that Bonnie still has a chance to make landfall as a strong, but small tropical storm….chances are now low that it will intensify to minimal hurricane status prior to landfall….although that is still a possibility.

The northerly shear affecting Bonnie should relax in about 12 hours and Bonnie will then come under a very low shear environment and be over very warm waters. So, as long as Bonnie can hang on overnight chances are good it will organize and intensify some tomorrow and tomorrow night.

Guidance is rather tightly clustered on a landfall within 50 miles either side of Panama City, Florida. Again this assumes the circulation remains intact and is steered by deep level flow….if circulation becomes exposed it will be steered along by low level flow.

Bottom line….my current forecast is for a moderate to strong tropical storm to make landfall 50 miles either side of Panama City, Florida late morning/early afternoon Thursday.

I expect the circulation to remain small and affect only a very small swath of the coast….no more than 50-75 miles with winds sustained at T.S. force. Rainfall looks to be the biggest issue….on the order of 5-7", with locally higher amounts.

Bonnie will enhance rainfall as it interacts with a front along the east coast of the United States as it lifts northeast up the coastal plain with gusty winds and locally heavy rainfall. A fast forward motion will keep rainfall totals from getting out of hand.

9:00 P.M. - TUESDAY - 8/10/04

Charley on the way to hurricane status at this hour. Charley is currently undergoing a bursting convective pattern. Latest IR satellite pics show a developing CDO and nice banding features. Outflow is good in all quadrants. Charley continues to move rather fast to the
W.N.W. at 26 mph to the south of a ridge to the north.

Charley is in a low shear environment with very warm sst's….expect
Charley to continue to intensify and will reach Jamaica as a hurricane tomorrow. The center of Charley will either cut across the length of Jamaica or pass a very short distance off the north or south coast.

Track….the stream of s/w's carving the trof over the eastern United States will erode the western edge of the ridge steering Charley. As a result Charley will steadily turn pole ward over the next 48-72 hours.

With the continued fast forward motion of Charley it seems certain Charley will get steered by the trof developing over the eastern United States…..I really don't see another solution.

Expect a track over the western third of Cuba then into the s.e. Gulf of Mexico…..then north-northeast toward the west coast of Florida….rough guess for potential landfall….Cedar Key to Fort Myers as possibility.

Beyond that….will address that tomorrow evening.

Intensity…..see no reason to believe we don't have a 100 - 115 mph hurricane in the s.e. Gulf by Friday evening. Latest SHIPS (00Z) is 110 mph in 72 hours…..seems reasonable.

If you live along the west coast of Florida…..PLEASE STAY TUNED.

Just got a look at latest IR pic…..very, very impressive….looks to me as if we have a rapidly developing tropical cyclone….cloud tops are running near -80C. If this trend continues we could have a strong
Cat 1 - Low end Cat 2 raking Jamaica tomorrow….we'll have to see how this plays out over the next 12-18 hours. At the very least would expect a Hurricane Watch to be hoisted for Jamaica….if not a Hurricane Warning in the 11:00 package.