Saturday, September 25, 2004

JEANNE MAKES FOR A NIGHTMARISH NIGHT ALONG FLORIDA EAST COAST
AND A DAYMARE IS WAITING AT SUNRISE

MID-ATLANTIC IS WARNED NOT TO UNDERESTIMATE STORM IMPACTS

IVAN HAS NOT DIED EVEN THOUGH THE NWS WANTS YOU TO THINK HE HAS.



As I write this, the outer bands of damaging winds and heavy rain have come onshore in the Frances zone. Thank you to the reader in Polk County, FL for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us just before the storm. I can sense your frayed nerves through the writing, and I am eager for this to be over for you, as I'm sure you are too.

Let me do a quick roundup of the storm situation as it stands for the next 4-5 days. Please read the posts below outlining more details about impacts up the East Coast. If you are a reader in Florida or a storm affected area, in no way do I attempt to use what I write here as a way of hyping the weather. I try to be realistic and pragmatic in what I provide to readers based on my life experience tracking storms.

IMPACTS FOR FLORIDA

1. Catastrophic damage will be observed along the Space Coast and inland to Orlando. Due to Jeanne's faster forward motion than Frances, sustained hurricane force winds will reach Orange County. The NHC expects winds in excess of 75 mph to spread as much as 100 miles inland. As the Polk County reader said in the comments, all the debris from the previous storms have become missiles by the time you read this.

2. Due to the reduced evacuation response from residents, there is potential for a higher loss of life during the storm, and even more following due to the unprecedented amount of debris.

3. Homes that lost their roofs or parts of them in Frances will be partially to mostly destroyed from this storm. This is because the wind does not have to extert as much of a force to rip off a roof, because it is already gone. The result is that the wind can more readily blow down walls that no longer have the roof support. This is why we will see countless more homes destroyed that what was previously anticipated by the residents.

IMPACTS FOR SOUTHEAST AREA... GA, SC, NC

4. Widespread tornadoes very far from the storm center will cause tremendous localized damage. Ivan unleashed 110 tornadoes... perhaps a record for a hurricane in the U.S.

5. Inland flooding will be extensive, but limited to Georgia and South Carolina due mostly to the already strained condition of many streams and rivers from Ivan's recent rains, and not from a 12 inch + rainstorm. The forward speed will increase beyond Monday as the storm gets pulled into the westerlies.

IMPACTS FOR THE MID-ATLANTIC.... VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA

6. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BELIEVE your local TV weather forecaster if they try to make the remnants of Jeanne sound harmless. This is something we just simply do not know yet. Who would have thought that Gaston could have dropped 11 inches of rain in 3 hours as a tropical depression. I say this because many computer models have shifted their inland track to the west, and show Jeanne holding together a circulation center well into Pennsylvania. A depression tracking directly over the MD bay will prompt tropical storm warnings. Norm Lewis of ABC 2 News in Baltimore commented on the Saturday evening news that the remnants of Jeanne would be nothing more than showers for the Balto metro area.

THAT'S WHAT WAS PREDICTED FOR RICHMOND BEFORE GASTON. Those of you in PA who got hammered by the "remnants" of Ivan should keep your guard up for this one.

7. As the storm comes up the coast, the eventual track has been shifting to the west, not to the east. This means the Chesapeake Bay will experience south and southeast winds for 12-24 hours prior to the center crossing the bay. Tides will run 1-2 feet above normal on Monday, and 2-3 above normal on Tuesday, until the center passes and winds back to the north.

8. Later in the season, there is more cold air available to the north. Accuweather indicates that Jeanne will be able tap that colder air to maintain her strength as she becomes extratropical, and turn into a nor'easter. They project the new hybrid storm will be the same or worse than what we saw with Ivan, which was apparently not even a depression at the time, although it really was. The end result is onshore winds in the Chesapeake/Delaware Bays and along the Jersey shore near tropical storm force, in the 35-45 mph range for a period of 6-8 hours. Proof of this is the NHC's projection that Jeanne will become a tropical storm once again off the Canadian maritimes, as you can plainly see in the map above. (unless it is a typo).

The end game of this storm is a long duration, widespread swath of impact all the way to New England.

TROPICAL STORM LISA does not appear to pose a threat to the U.S. at this point.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION IVAN is moving south along the Texas coast and will re-enter the southern Gulf at the mouth of the Rio Grande by Monday. It is not inconceivable that he regenerates into a tropical system. Accuweather has alluded to this several times. If that happens, will it be Matt? Or still Ivan? If this low regenerates over the 87-89 F waters, it will likely become a hurricane and head northeast toward...

Ah, let's not talk about that part right now.