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 - Saturday - September 25, 2004 - 6:00 PM
*MAJOR HURRICANE JEANNE BEARING DOWN ON FLORIDA*
**LANDFALL 1:00 TO 3:00 A.M. NEAR FT. PIERCE**
**EXPECT WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE WELL INLAND**
Jeanne is looking very healthy at this hour with deep cold topped convection wrapped around a contracting eye. Outflow remains good to excellent in all quadrants. Jeanne reached at 3 status during the morning hours and the pressure has fallen slowly and steadily since. Latest recon had 950 mbs. Jeanne has more than overcome the drier air issue of the last few days….and like so many other storms this season is becoming an over achiever. The drier air entrained into Jeanne yesterday has been mixed out and Jeanne's well defined outflow has pushed the drier air away from her circulation.
Jeanne is currently moving slightly north of due west (275-280 degrees) at 14 mph.
I do not anticipate any weakening prior to landfall. If anything with the healthy appearance of Jeanne on satellite and radar would expect an additional slight increase in strength in the remaining hours prior to landfall. Jeanne is moving over the warm waters of the gulf stream and latest SST temp analysis from NOAA/NESDIS shows an additional eddy of warm water hugging the coast off the Fl coast vicinity of West Palm Beach to near Ft. Pierce.
All that being said would expect Jeanne to reach the coast with a pressure between 945-950 mbs and max sustained winds 120-125 mph.
Winds in excess of hurricane force will spread a good distance inland along the track of Jeanne for up to a 10-12 hour period.
Once inland Jeanne will GRADUALLY weaken becoming a TS upon reaching the FL/GA border.
I don't want this to be taken the wrong way….it will take a while for Jeanne to spin down from 115-125 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.
In summary, look for a major hurricane with winds of 120-125 mph at time of landfall.
**TRACK FORECAST HAS BEEN ADJUSTED ABOUT 40 MILES WEST FROM LAST UPDATE FRIDAY EVENING**
It now appears the turn to the NW then North will be somewhat slower once Jeanne makes landfall and move inland over FL…as such my landfall location remains exactly the same….near Ft. Pierce, FL. Expect landfall between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m.
Once inland expect a gradually curving path from Ft. Pierce…to near Haines City….to near Clermont…(40 miles west of Orlando) passing very near Ocala and Gainesville. Once to near Gainesville Jeanne should be a minimal hurricane or strong Tropical Storm. The center should pass about 60 miles west of Jacksonville passing into GA and heading for Waycross GA….then on up toward SC…crossing the border midway between Augusta and Savannah. The center Jeanne should pass 60 or so miles west of Charleston…most likely downgraded to a tropical depression. The center should then continue NE exiting the coast near Norfolk Va….then heading to near 40N/70W.
This westward adjustment to the track will help to weaken Jeanne as it moves up the coastal plain far enough inland to reduce the wind speed. The bad news to this is it will dump heavy rain on parts of the Carolinas and Virginia that don't need another drop….more significant flooding is possible in these areas.
This slightly more inland track will also help to reduce or eliminate the tidal flooding issue in and near Norfolk.
Would expect wind damage to trees and power lines well up into GA and possibly even into SC.
Expect storm surge flooding of 6-9' 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 9' surge looks like a good maximum number.
Hurricane force winds plus with rake a 65-85 mile swath of the coast as well as up along and to the east of Jeanne's track up toward Ocala, FL.
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.
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 115 mph+ winds would be felt and max surge would be expected.
Battering waves along the central and northern east coast of FL will produce severe additional erosion and over wash as dunes are very much weakend or gone from Frances. Battering waves and surge will really rake the beaches from near Port St. Lucie up to near Daytona…with severe damage along the beachfront and barrier islands.
Power outages and tree damage will once again be very widespread over central and northern FL.
Next update tomorrow about 3:00 p.m. Sunday
Until then…preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion by sunset.….hurricane force winds will be impacting the coast by 9 or 10:00.
Batten down gonna be a long stormy night.
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.