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Hurricane Ivan - Wednesday - September 15, 2004 - 9:30 PM






Conditions continue to go downhill over the hurricane warning area. Squalls associated with the outer rain bands are affecting the gulf coast from Apalachicola Florida westward to southeast Louisiana. Winds in these bands are gusting to over 60 mph.

Conditions will continue to go downhill quickly over the next several hours. It is going to be a long rough night along the gulf coast especially from Alabama to the western 1/3 of the Fl. Panhandle.

I hope all barrier islands were successfully evacuated. I'm afraid there will be not much left come tomorrow morning along some of the barrier islands off the Alabama coast and toward the extreme western FL panhandle. There could be complete over wash on these barrier islands with wind GUSTS 150 mph.

Complete landfall (eye completely onshore) should be finished by about 3:00-4:00 A.M. EDT (2:00-3:00 A.M. EDT) Thursday.

Ivan has taken a slight shift to the right and is now moving slightly east of due north at about 12 mph. This means an absolute disaster surge up Mobile will be avoided. PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG…IT WILL BE BAD ENOUGH….just not the absolute catastrophe it could have been if Ivan moved up west of the bay.

The western eyewall should rake the eastern side of Mobile Bay with the eye making landfall over Baldwin County, AL near the AL/FL border.

This is a much better situation for Mobile Bay than if the center came in over or west of the bay. Would still expect a 6-8' surge up the bay.

This slight eastward shift will now put the area from Gulf Shores Alabama to Pensacola and Destin, FL under the gun for surge.

Latest buoy data off the coast of Alabama shows wave heights in excess of 40 feet and all this water is going to start piling onto the coast in a big way very shortly.

Expect a 130-140 mph hurricane at landfall…with higher gusts especially over the barrier islands…..some of which to the right of landfall could see almost total over wash.

The pressure with Ivan has fallen off since mid afternoon now down to 931 mbs….down roughly 10 mbs since this morning...latest recon shows this intensification has halted and would expect Ivan to be in a near steady state over the next several hours up to landfall.

Ivan has a very large wind field and the effects will be wide reaching along the coast to the left and right of where the center comes in. Hurricane force winds will penetrate well inland and tree and powerline damage will be VERY extensive and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see total power restoration over the area take 3 weeks+ to get totally restored.

Ivan will continue North or N.N.E. up across Alabama at about 9-12 mph heading up toward eastern TN…where it will start to unload excessive rain over eastern TN/KY and western NC and VA.

There is really nothing else I can add at this point that I've not already said over the last few days.

Please reference my Tuesday evening (9:30) update for additional information on storm effects.

The threat for near SEVERE, POSSIBLE HISTORIC flooding exists over western NC and western Va. This area received 9-12" rain with Frances and as Ivan slows and dissipates in place over eastern KY/TN and western NC/VA another 9-12" of rain with isolated 15"+ totals possible in favored upslope areas. This on top of the saturated ground could cause very severe and record breaking flooding.

PLEASE pay attention to local NWS statements in your area over the next 48-72 hours regarding the expected flash flooding.

I kid you not….this has potential to be a horrible situation in the above outlined areas.

A couple of miscellaneous things….

New Orleans is NOT going under water…I can't believe I'm still hearing media outlets fearing the worst for New Orleans….body bags, water up to the 2nd. & 3rd. stories of buildings, weeks to possibly pump out the city. This is media insanity at its worst and is just plain hype mongering and irresponsible.

The other issue I have is with the latest QP fcst from HPC showing 7-8" rain amounts up to New Jersey and 3-5" amounts up into New England….WHAT all that is about I have no idea. There is just no way anything like that is going to happen. I just can't imagine what they could be smoking down there at HPC. This QP forecast leaves me speechless. Rain from Ivan should make it no further north than the Mason Dixie line and that is likely very generous.

This will be my last update on Ivan.

Thanks again to Steve the Web Meister for taking the time to keep these updates flowing through to the website. While I've got some forecasting skills my technical abilities are limited to say the least. So thanks to Steve for keeping the site up and running.


Please refer to official statements from TPC and local weather services offices for official information. Please obey all evacuation orders as issued by local emergency service offices.

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