13 August 2004

Charley hits FL as CAT4, TD4 continues on, and TD5 forms...

At 4pm EDT today, Hurricane Charley slammed into Charlotte Harbor as a
CAT4 storm.  It missed the projected target of Tampa by about 65 miles,
and was about 30kts stronger than expected.

Ending at 21 today, the central pressure fell:
 - 39mb in 24 hours
 - 29mb in 12 hours
 - 24mb in 6 hours
Just for reference, the world record holders for those brackets are
101mb/24h, 77mb/12h, and 43mb/6hr.  Although not at the top of those
lists, this was still one of the most rapidly intensifying hurricanes in
Atlantic history, and it did so just miles before landfall.

So far, damage reports are extensive, and have just begun to come in. 
The primary eyewall was very tiny and missed Fort Myers, but was close. 
Port Charlotte most likely sustained the heaviest damage.  Charley is
now heading across the peninsula toward Orlando then Daytona Beach,
still as a strong hurricane.  Tornadoes are possible all along the storm
track; 5 reports have already come in from Florida.

At 21Z, the hurricane was located inland at 26.9N 82.2W and tracking NNE
at 19kts.  Intensity was an incredible 120kts and 941mb.  It is forecast
to exit the FL peninsula at Daytona Beach, briefly pass over the Gulf
Stream in the Atlantic, then make a third landfall near Myrtle Beach,
SC.  Hurricane Warnings cover all of the western FL peninsula, the
northeast FL peninula, GA, SC, and NC up to Cape Fear.  A Tropical Storm
Watch is in effect from Cape Fear, NC to the Chesapeake Bay.  It will be
passing over PA/NJ in the early morning hours on Sunday, and up by Maine
midday Monday.

TD4 is still getting better organized, and is nearly a Tropical Storm. 
It's currently at 12.5N 24.0W and moving W at 13kts.  It should become
TS Danielle tonight or tomorrow morning.  It will most likely recurve
into the open Altantic long before reaching the Lesser Antilles.

At 21Z today, the strong tropical wave I mentioned this morning was
upgraded to TD5... now located at 8.9N 46.2W.  The 1009mb Low is heading
W at 17kts and is expected to continue on this track for the next
several days, passing over the Lesser Antilles Sunday afternoon, and
Jamaica on Wednesday as a strong CAT1 hurricane (basically following in
Charley's footsteps).  This could become TS Earl by tomorrow afternoon.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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