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Frances Frenzy

Jason Samenow @ 12:20 AM

Hurricane Frances, courtesy NASA
The status of Frances: Frances remains a dangerous Category 4 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 140mph and may reach Category 5 levels some time today or tomorrow. Hurricane watches have been issued for much of the Florida Coast. Nearly half a million people have been asked to evacuate.

The landfall forecast: Forecast models are coming into better agreement as to where Frances will make landfall-- somewhere between the south and central Florida coast on Saturday afternoon. A couple outliers, albeit outliers which typically carry credibility among forecasters, forecast Frances will slow down and move up the entire East Coast, just skirting Florida, but pounding the outer Banks of NC. The Tropical Prediction Center believes these models may have data issues, (and I agree) so I'm discounting this scenario for now and am sticking with my forecast for landfall near Ft. Lauderdale.

What about the effects on DC?: The most likely scenario is that we feel Frances' effects on Tuesday or Wednesday. Per previous posts, how serious these effects are will depend on the exact storm track after it moves inland (if it does so) and it's too early to predict that (since the storm is at least five days away from affecting us).

Can't get enough Frances coverage? Check out I'm blown away by the amount of information and activity on this blog. Then there's also which offers scheduled live audio broadcasts on the storm.

Finally, I leave you with some of the net's best storm satellite imagery:

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