15 September 2004

Ivan nearing Gulf Coast, Jeanne nearing Puerto Rico...

Ivan is still a mighty CAT4 hurricane at is takes aim at the northern Gulf Coast.  Evacuations are being rushed, especially in New Orleans where they are particularly vulnerable.  The city exists 5 feet below sea level, protected by dikes.  A direct hit or even a near-miss would result in the costliest disaster in US history as the entire city fills with perhaps 15+ feet of water.  The 09Z forecast track takes the eye into Mobile, AL, which is still quite bad, for Mobile and places far east and west of it due to the storm's large eyewall.  Latest position is 165 miles away from landfall, or about 13 hours.

TS Jeanne is currently very near hurricane-strength at 60kts and 991mb.  The center of the circulation is just a few miles off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico, with evidence of an eyewall forming.  She will almost certainly be upgraded to the 6th hurricane of the season within the next 12 hours.  The forecast is for slight strengthening beyond Puerto Rico, but still facing the outflow/shear from Ivan.  In a couple of days, conditions should improve as it heads over the Bahamas and intensifies, heading toward the US coast... at this point, anywhere from FL to NC should be watchful.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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