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National Weather - September 25


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Dangerous category-3 Hurricane Jeanne tackles Florida

9:25 P.M. ET 9/25/2004


M. Ressler, Senior Meteorologist, The Weather Channel




The waves build, the winds strengthen to hurricane force and the torrential rain bands increasingly swirl ashore as category-3 Frances slides along and into the south-central Florida coast with the eye passing inland anywhere from north of West Palm Beach to south of Cape Canaveral. Conditions will continue to dangerously deteriorate across much of the peninsula as Jeanne moves onshore and then into central Florida Sunday morning. Hurricane force winds will damage buildings especially between Daytona Beach and West Palm Beach and bring down a new round of trees and power lines especially from Jacksonville and Gainesville to Orlando and West Palm Beach. A flood watch is effect for the entire peninsula for torrential rains than could dump between 4 and 12 inches in many locations. Even the west side of Florida will likely experience strong tropical storm conditions by Sunday. A combination of surge, above average tides and battering waves on Florida's east coast will cause at great deal of coastal damage. On Sunday, Jeanne will likely rake from central Florida into northern Florida on a track toward southern Georgia. As winds turn onshore on Florida's west coast Sunday, the combination of higher than average tides and the Gulf water being forced toward the coast could cause coastal flooding from north of Tampa to just south of Naples. On Sunday as Jeanne gradually weakens, building damage will become much less of a concern on its northward track but major tree and power line damage will continue over the central and northern peninsula and possibly into the eastern portions of the panhandle. Monday into Tuesday, a steadily weakening Jeanne will likely head northward through southern and eastern Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay with more flooding rain, the risk for tornadoes northeast and east of track and tropical storm strength wind gusts that could still bring down trees and power lines.


An upper-level system coming out of the Southwest and later northeasterly upslope winds from high pressure expanding southward into the southern high Plains will keep western Texas on the wet side through Tuesday. Downpours could cause more localized flooding. Meanwhile, the last remnants of Ivan and an upper-level disturbance over the western Gulf will keep a few lingering showers and thunderstorms over the Texas Gulf Coast into at least Sunday.



A cold front that brought heavy rain to the Plains earlier in the week will slide through the remainder the Ohio Valley with very little precipitation. The passage of the front will return temperatures to near average over the remainder of the Midwest. Sunday and Monday, a new cold front will sag southward out of Canada across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest with only scattered rain showers. By Tuesday, another sprawling area of dry Canadian high pressure will dominate the region with temperatures slightly below average from the central Plains to the southern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and slightly above average along the Canadian border.



A cold front is moving through the Northeast and will stall over the Chesapeake Bay and the Virginias by Monday. There is a small chance for thunderstorms with strong wind gusts ahead of the front, but most of the region will remain dry. Temperatures behind the front will return closer to average for late September. Late Monday, the initial rains from Jeanne will begin to move over the border from North Carolina into southern Virginia. Meanwhile, another cold front will swing into the Northeast Tuesday as a weakened Jeanne potentially zips from North Carolina to off the Mid-Atlantic Coast with heavy rains and gusty winds continuing along its track.



The West will be relatively warm and dry through the remainder weekend. An upper-level disturbance will spark showers and thunderstorms over New Mexico along with portions of easternmost Arizona and Colorado. The heaviest rains though will continue to develop in thunderstorms over New Mexico's high Plains. After some recently very warm temperatures for much of coastal California, temperatures should dip back to average by Monday as a weak onshore flow returns. Another cold front and Canadian high pressure will nose down into Montana later Sunday and then continue to slide southward along and east of the Rockies on Monday. Until then, temperatures will be 5 to 15 degrees above average from parts of California, through the Pacific Northwest and Great Basin, into Montana.

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