09 September 2004

Ivan rapidly intensifies...

Ivan has undergone rapid intensification during the afternoon and night on Wednesday.  At 06Z on Thursday, the already-terrible Ivan was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane, the first of the season.  The last CAT5 was Isabel '03, then before that was Mitch '98.

Ending at 06Z, the pressure fell 13mb in 3 hours and 24mb in 12 hours. Winds have reached 140kts (160mph) and the central pressure is now 925mb.  This extreme intensity is difficult to maintain for very long, so it could easily drop back down to a CAT4, but still very dangerous.

It is presently located north of the tiny islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao off the Venezuelan coast.  The official forecast takes it directly over Jamaica on Friday afternoon, western Cuba on Sunday afternoon, and the southwest Florida peninsula on Monday evening... all as a CAT4.  Keep in mind the later forecast times become increasingly uncertain.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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