Friday, September 3, 2004

LARGEST EVACUATION IN U.S. HISTORY UNDERWAY IN FLORIDA

FRANCES WEAKENS SOME, BUT WIND FIELD EXPANDS

POTENTIAL REMAINS FOR A TURN FARTHER TO THE NORTH AND LANDFALL NEAR JACKSONVILLE OR GEORGIA/SOUTH CAROLINA


Accuweather.com has a sobering and very blunt analysis of the impacts of Frances on Florida. If you need to convince friends or family down there... show them the links athttp://wwwa.accuweather.com/adcbin/public/index.asp?partner=accuweather

What we know:
Frances has stabilized around 120 mph, but re-strengthening to Category 4 is expected.
Landfall in Florida is almost certain, save for a sudden shift to the north on Friday or Sat.
Forward speed has slowed to 10 mph. Westward motion is approx WNW.
Pressure is up to 954 mb, if we notice the pressure lowering again, the winds will increase.
Storm surge of 11-15 feet is likely along a 100-mile swath of coastline.
2.5 million+ are being evacuated in all coastal counties from Daytona to Miami
The hurricane is expected to slow further, which mens the potential for damage is catastrophic
Nearly half the state will experience hurricane force winds for several hours or more.
Inland areas near landfall will experience 100 mph winds for 6 to 12 hours.
Rainfall may exceed 15 inches in much of southern and central Florida.

AND...The Mid-Atlantic from North Carolina on northward will begin to see remnants in the form of heavy rain and some wind starting Tuesday and extending into Thursday morning. This poses a significant flood threat for the Appalachians.

What we don't know:
The exact location of landfall, but it appears the computers are projecting south of Cape Canaveral... in the Melbourne area. Any shift farther south is better as the inland counties west of Fort Pierce are much less densely populated than the Melbourne-Orlando area.

How the storm will interact with a high and front to possibly create equally devastating floods in the Appalachians. H

ow much rain would fall over Virginia and Maryland, but suffice to say that Tuesday through Thursday will be very rainy and somewhat windy in the Mid-Atlantic.

Amounts in the mountains and on the east side of the storm may exceed 5 inches in some areas. Richmonders, take note.

IVAN THE TERRIBLE HAS BEEN BORN IN THE SOUTHEAST ATLANTIC

Projections are that Tropical Storm Ivan will become a hurricane in about 3 days, and then head mostly westward under the Puerto Rico into the southern Caribbean. A lot could change once it gets there, but my gut feeling is this one will head for the western US gulf coast, unless it gets hung up over the Yucatan. Needles to say, if it emerges in the gulf unimpeded, Ivan will be at least Category 3 by then.

The next update will be Friday night

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