06 September 2004

Frances makes landfall (again), and powerful Ivan heading for Lesser Antilles...

Frances exited the Florida peninsula near Tampa as a Tropical Storm, and
tracked across the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, never regaining
hurricane strength.  It made landfall again near St. Marks in the
Florida panhandle at 2pm EDT as a strong Tropical Storm.  But the heavy
rain spans from near Tampa to central GA.  There are already 11 tornado
reports today in FL, GA, and SC associated with Frances' rainbands. 
Tornado, Flood, Flash Flood, and Tropical Storm Watches/Warnings cover
much of FL, GA, AL, and SC.  At 21Z, the center of TS Frances was
inland, about 75 miles northeast of Apalachicola, and moving NNW at
7kts.  Maximum sustained winds have dropped to 40kts and the MSLP is up
to 982mb.

After Ivan's extremely rapid intensification on Sunday (30mb in 6
hours), the inner core basically collapsed and the storm weakened as a
result.  This was part of an eyewall replacement cycle, which as of this
writing, is still occuring.  Once complete, the central pressure should
drop fairly quickly again.  It is still 300 miles east of the Windward
Islands, and is heading directly for Barbados.  As of 21Z, Hurricane
Ivan is located at 11.6N 55.3W and tracking WNW at 19kts.  Intensity
measured by aircraft was 90kts and 968mb.  Further strengthening is very
likely, and it should be upgraded to a CAT3 storm again within 6-12
hours.  The Lesser Antilles can expect the worst weather midday Tuesday.

The forecast track takes Ivan over Hispaniola (a mountainous island
between Cuba and Puerto Rico comprised of Haiti and the Dominican
Republic) midday Thursday, then PERHAPS knocking on Florida's door early
this weekend.  The southeastern FL peninsula is climatologically the
most frequently hit slice of land along the entire US coastline, and
this year is certainly validating and enhancing that statistic.

Elsewhere, a healthy tropical wave is located in the far eastern
Atlantic, at about 12N 32W.  It exited Africa last Friday (4 days behind
Ivan), and is moving W at 12kts. Conditions appear favorable for
development over the next day or two; the next number/name on deck is

As of the 21Z advisories today, this season's activity is already 19%
higher than an entire average season, and we haven't yet reached the
climatological peak!

I'd like to thank Jonathan Vigh for sending the updates in my absence. 
The ten days I was gone were host to a lot of activity (Frances, Gaston,
Hermine, Ivan), so it was no small chore.  I hope you all enjoyed his
expert analysis and commentary!

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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