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Jeanne update

Jason Samenow @ 11:05 PM

Hurricane Jeanne continues moving towards the east coast of Florida. She is a Cat 2 storm, but conditions are favorable for strengthening. The Tropical Prediction Center projects she will strengthen to a weak Cat 3 storm as she approaches Florida and that seems reasonable. However, intensity forecasts are highly uncertain.

Her exact track is also a bit uncertain. The models continue to take her towards Florida but several now don't move her inland, but rather take her up the Florida coast and along the Southeast coast until she runs into the North Carolina outer banks. Hurricane Floyd in 1999 took such a track (although he did not make it as far west as Jeanne likely will).

My sense is that this storm will make landfall in Florida, somewhere near West Palm Beach (a la Frances and perhaps as strong or stronger) Saturday night/Sunday morning and move northward over the Florida peninsula -- perhaps just a bit west of the Tropical Prediction Center forecast. It will likely then parallel the Southeast coast. I'll refine this forecast as necessary and provide more details tomorrow.

As far as her impacts on the DC area go, I believe the storm will stay east of DC as she moves up the coast. So the impact for DC would be minor in that scenario. But I'd caution a lot of things can change between now and the time the storm nears the Mid Atlantic.

Interestingly, the media is not playing up this storm like past hurricanes. Perhaps it's hurricane fatigue, and perhaps it's because Jeanne is only a Cat 2. But this storm should be watched and taken seriously from Miami to Cape Hatteras.

Here's a satellite image of the Tropical Atlantic from yesterday -- from left to right Ivan, Jeanne, Karl and Lisa are all visible.

Image courtesy NOAA

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