This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute nor should it be used in place of official information. Please follow and obey orders from local emergency management officials.
Hurricane Jeanne - Friday - September 24, 2004 - 9:00 PM
*HURRICANE WARNINGS AND WATCHES UP ALONG FL COAST*
Let me state from the outset there is very little to no change with this update from the update I issued yesterday afternoon at 3:00.
Jeanne is currently moving west 270-275 at about 12 mph.
Intensity wise Jeanne has been essentially in a stable state over the last 24-30 hours…she has been fighting off the dry air surrounding her to the bitter end…the drier air started to take a bit of a toll earlier today but Jeanne is now starting to move over the eastern edge of the Gulf Stream and is slowly becoming better organized. Cloud tops are not excessively cold but the CDO is more symmetric. Outflow is well established in all quadrants. In summary…Jeanne has good structure and is a solid 100 mph hurricane at this hour. Pressure has dropped 3-4 mbs over the last few hours and this could be a sign Jeanne is on her way to a low end Cat 3 (major) hurricane.
For the next 24-36 hours the only potential limiting factor for intensification to major hurricane status is the continued presence of drier mid/upper level air surrounding Jeanne. Based on latest WV imagery Jeanne is clearly winning the battle with the dry air and based on current trends has pretty much mixed out whatever dry air was "ingested" over the last 12 hours.
Based on a favorable upper air pattern and the fact the Jeanne will be crossing the Gulf Stream for the next 24-30 hours will forecast intensification to a low end Cat 3 hurricane over the next 24 hours with max sustained winds to between 115-120 mph. Were it not for the drier surrounding air I'd go slightly higher.
Once past 30-36 hours, gradually increasing shear and interaction with land should steadily weaken Jeanne. I don't want this to be taken the wrong way….it will take a while for Jeanne to spin down from 115 mph to 75 mph and a large part of the Fl peninsula will be subject to winds of Tropical Storm force, with an area 25-40 miles from the track of the center subject to hurricane force winds. There will be widespread tree and powerline damage across the central and northern 2/3rds. Of the Florida peninsula.
Jeanne will likely maintain hurricane status until it reaches the northeast area of Florida or extreme east Ga when it should then drop to TS status.
In summary, look for a 110-120 mph hurricane at time of landfall. This is supported by latest 00Z SHIPS which is near 115 mph at landfall.
Again, virtually no change in track thinking since Thursday afternoon update. I'm in total agreement with latest TPC 5:00 track issuance.
That is for a landfall vicinity Ft. Pierce, FL…then on a curving path with the center tracking to within 20 miles either side of Orlando..then to within 20 miles either side of Jacksonville...then to within 20 miles either side of Savannah, GA…onto 20 miles either side of Charleston, SC…the center should track west of Hatteras then track to 20-40 miles east of Norfolk…at this point TS Jeanne will begin to start feeling the effects of the westerlies and begin an acceleration NE or ENE out into the Atlantic…passing over or more likely just south of 40N/70W.
Jeanne then has some potential to phase with a S/W moving east from the eastern great lakes and could transform into a north Atlantic gale as it lashes the Canadian Maritimes. The other option is that it remains separate and only gives them a glancing blow. I'd to slightly favor the phased/intense solution at this time.
12Z/18Z global guidance is rather tightly clustered with the above track….only the NOGAPS and Canadian Global are western outliers with a track toward NW FL then cutting right into the middle of GA. This solution has been discounted. The UKMET is slightly to the left of the 12Z/18Z model consensus. My track is very similar to the 18Z GFS and FSU Super Ensemble.
Expect storm surge flooding of 4-8' near and to the right of where the center crosses the FL coast….this will depend on tide cycle (high/low) and exact angle Jeanne makes landfall at. Right now an 8' surge looks like a good maximum number.
Hurricane force winds plus with rake a 60-75 mile swath of the coast as well as up along and to the east of Jeanne's track.
Heavy rains on the of 6-12" are likely along and just to the right of the track…amts will taper off west of the track.
Winds to Tropical Storm force with at least gusts to hurricane force are likely over the eastern ¼ of GA, SC and NC.
Tropical Storm force winds are likely up to the Va tidewater before Jeanne make a turn to the right out into the Atlantic.
Tidal/small surge flooding is possible as NE winds pile water into the Norfolk, Newport News area of S.E. Va. This should not be an extreme event but I would expect some minor to perhaps moderate tidal flooding.
Isolated tornados are also possible in advance of Jeanne over the right front quadrant of the storm.
The absolute worst effects from Jeanne will be near and to the right of where the center crosses the FL coast…this is where the 110-120 mph winds would be felt and max surge would be expected.
While this is not going to be a blockbuster hurricane, it deserves respect. If ordered to leave a barrier island, leave. As usual mobile and manufactured homes will be at most risk.
Power outages and tree damage will once again be very widespread over central and northern FL.
Also, this track is not etched in granite…a slight south west track adjustment would put southern FL under the gun along with the west coast….so stay tuned in case some minor track adjustment is needed.
Next update tomorrow about 6:00 p.m.
Until then…preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion during the daylight hours of tomorrow….by daybreak Sunday hurricane force will be affecting the central coast of FL.
THIS INFORMATION IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR OFFICIAL INFORMATION.
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.