16 September 2004

Ivan makes landfall, Jeanne makes landfall, TD12 forms...

At about 07Z today, "Ivan the Terrible" made landfall at Gulf Shores,
AL, a fairly small town on the east side of Mobile Bay, and just a few
miles west of the FL panhandle.  Locations from Gulfport, MS to Fort
Walton Beach all suffered substantial damage, while locations further
inland were enduring deadly tornadoes spawned in Ivan's rainbands. 
Intensity at landfall was about 100kts, but post-landfall analysis of
observations and damage will pinpoint that better.  So far 36 tornadoes
have been reported in FL, GA, and SC since landfall, causing at LEAST 12
fatalities and 15 injuries.

Ivan has weakened to a Tropical Storm now, and is near Birmingham, AL. 
Intensity is 50kts and 980mb, with a heading of NNE at 12kts.  It will
continue to move NE over TN, then perhaps loop back E then SE toward SC
and interact with Jeanne in about 6 days.  Stranger things have
happened.  I'll close today's discussion of Ivan with some relevant
remarks made today:
"I've been through a lot of hurricanes, but this is the most ungodly
thing I've ever seen"  -- Robert Randle, Gulf Breeze deputy police

"This couldn't be much worse."  -- John Fogg, mayor of Pensacola

"It would be easier to say what's NOT damaged,"  -- Ted Roy, Escambia
County sheriff's department.

I found this quote on CNN's website which I thought was very fitting:
"In the eye of a hurricane, you learn things other than of a scientific
nature. You feel the puniness of man and his works. If a true definition
of humility is ever written, it might well be written in the eye of a
hurricane."  -- Edward Murrow, reporting on Hurricane Edna 1954

Now on to Jeanne.  Jeanne was upgraded to the 6th hurricane of the
season at 12Z today, then made landfall on the Dominican Republic and
went on to actually form an open eye while over the mountainous island. 
At 21Z, it was downdraged to a Tropical Storm again, but that should be
temporary.  It is now expected to head back over water and toward the
Bahamas.  The SE US coast should be watching this one very closely, as
it could be another hurricane landfall in about 5 days.  Current
intensity is 60kts and 990mb.

Elsewhere, that large tropical wave I've mentioned that past couple of
days is now TD12, based on satellite presentation.  It's out at 11.4N
32.8W and heading W at 14kts.  Maximum sustained winds are 30kts and
MSLP is 1007mb, but it's forecast to quickly become Tropical Storm Karl,
then a hurricane in about 2 days.  The latest thinking is that it will
recurve into the central open Atlantic, but I have to wonder how likely
that is given the current location south of 12N.  Something to watch... 

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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