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JEANNE heads for Bahamas, South Florida


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Jeanne quickly approaching Bahamas and Florida

10:53 p.m. ET ET Fri.,Sep.24,2004


James Wilson, Sr. Meteorologist, The Weather Channel



Bottom Line

# Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, as of 11 p.m. ET


# Hurricane warning issued along the Florida east coast from Florida City northward to St. Augustine, including Lake Okeechobee; A watch extends from north of St. Augustine to Altamaha Sound, GA


# Jeanne poses urgent threat to northern Bahamas and Florida; will impact other southeastern U.S. states


# Landfall location will be determined by when Jeanne turns north

Hurricane Jeanne, a category 2 storm, will continue to move westward through the Bahamas on Saturday and toward the Florida Coast with a possible landfall late Saturday into early Sunday


Jeanne will continue on this westward course before it eventually will be drawn northwestward and then northward around the periphery of a large area of high pressure.


Landfall is most likely along the eastern coast of Florida from north of Palm Beach to south of Cape Canaveral, but strong winds and squalls may occur at quite a distance from the center of the storm. Look for a 4-8 foot storm surge, with gusty winds and rain by late Saturday. Hurricane warnings are in effect much of the east coast of Florida --from Florida City to St. Augustine and hurricane watches extend northward from there to the Georgia Coast. In the meantime, Jeanne has already begun to impact the Southeast Coast and will continue to do so as it makes its approach. Swells are emanating from Jeanne toward the Southeast Coast. An already persistent northeasterly flow along the beaches of Florida's east coast is building surf and producing a high rip current threat, prompting high surf advisories. Those waves, however, will only grow larger and larger as Jeanne draws closer to the shores of the Southeast. With time, 20- to 30-foot waves will be breaking along the shoreline of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and coastal southeast North Carolina with considerable beach erosion in places already hit hard by recent hurricanes. This could add to the coastal damage and flooding. Be extremely careful in the coastal zones as Jeanne approaches and makes landfall.


Very heavy rain and flooding will be yet another product of Jeanne in the Southeast and northward into the Mid-Atlantic States. A flood watch is already in effect for parts of the Florida Peninsula through the weekend.


A weakening Hurricane Karl is racing north-northeast into the North Atlantic, and has become extratropical, and is not a threat to the United States. Only shipping interests need to be concerned with Karl.


Southeast of Karl, however, Tropical Depression Lisa's future remains uncertain. The system absorbed a separate tropical disturbance that moved in from the east. Regardless, Lisa is a long way from the Lesser Antilles and even farther from the United States, and may just turn more northward without affecting land. It is forecast to strengthen back to tropical storm strength over the next 24 to 48 hours.


Back home, remnants of Tropical Storm Ivan have been dumping heavy rain around the Texas-Louisiana border. Flood watches remain in effect for those areas.

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