07 September 2004

Frances decays inland, Ivan thrashes the Windwards...

At 03Z today, NHC issued the final advisory on Frances, now a large
weakening swirl centered over Atlanta.  However, she will not be
forgotten.  Over 3 million people are still without power, and 16 people
have died in the Bahamas, Florida, and Georgia.  The storm was a
hurricane for 10 full days, and a major hurricane for 7.25 of those

Ivan is gradually regaining intensity, and became a CAT3 again at 09Z
today.  As of 21Z, it was at 12.0N 62.0W and moving quickly to the west
at 16kts.  Aircraft-measured intensity is 105kts and 956mb.  Given
nearly ideal conditions, Ivan is forecast to intensify further, reaching
CAT4 within 6-12 hours.

The northern eyewall and eye passed directly over the island of Grenada
at 22Z today.  Grenada is the southernmost island in the Windward Island
chain with a population of nearly 100,000.  Since that only occurred
only one hour ago as of this writing, no damage reports are in, but they
will be significant.  I don't usually do this, but I included an
attachment showing a visible satellite image, taken near local sunset,
just as Ivan was passing over Grenada... looks peaceful from space, but
remember under those pretty clouds are sustained winds of 120mph.
The forecast track is very easy in the short term, but extremely
challenging in the long term.  Over the next couple of days, Ivan will
continue heading W to WNW outside the periphery of the subtropical
ridge.  Beyond then, it's too hard to say if the ridge will decay at
all, or to what degree.  This affects the track immensely: a weaker
ridge means it will nudge northward, toward the Greater Antilles and
perhaps Florida; a stronger ridge means it will keep heading WNW toward
the Yucatan Peninsula.  It's simply too early to tell.  

The tropical wave I mentioned yesterday is still heading west, and
presently located at about 16N 37W.  It shows signs of development, and
should become TD10 very soon.  If it gets named, it would be Jeanne. 
Given its position so far north at 37W, it would most likely recurve
before reaching the Lesser Antilles, but will be monitored closely.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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