Steve, I'm just going to give a stab at this: I think the intensity will depend on how far west and south Jeanne is in the next couple of days, as the waters are warmer near WPB/Ft.LAUDERDALE than further north up the coast. Also keep in mind that if she crosses over Lake Okeechobee, the water temps there are in the 80-82 degree area, which of course would let Jeanne keep her "energy" as she moves inland. Notice how the models are not taking that sharp north turn, it seems that they have rounded out a little bit. I think that she'll make landfall as a minimum CAT 3. However, THIS part of the discussion really caught my attention:
Quote: THE INITIAL MOTION IS 270/8. UPPER-AIR DATA THIS MORNING INDICATE A DEEP-LAYER HIGH/RIDGE WAS CENTERED JUST EAST OF THE DELMARVA... WHICH IS SOUTHEAST OF MOST OF THE NHC MODEL FORECAST POSITIONS... ESPECIALLY THE UKMET...THAT ARE VALID AT THAT TIME. ALSO...THE MID-LEVEL WINDS ACROSS THE FLORIDA PENINSULA HAVE BACKED AROUND FROM THE NORTHEAST TO THE NORTH DURING THE PAST 12 HOURS AS AN INVERTED TROUGH HAS MOVED WESTWARD TO THE FLORIDA EAST COAST. AS THIS FEATURE CONTINUES TO MOVE WESTWARD...SOME WEAK RIDGING SHOULD OCCUR BEHIND IT OVER AND EAST OF THE FLORIDA PENINSULA...WHICH MAY ACT TO FORCE JEANNE A LITTLE SOUTH OF DUE WEST IN THE SHORT TERM. BASED ON THE TRENDS NOTED IN THE 12Z UPPER-AIR DATA...NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE WAS MADE TO THE PREVIOUS FORECAST TRACK...EVEN THOUGH THE 06Z MODEL GUIDANCE SHIFTED SLIGHTLY TO THE NORTH AND EAST.
Why did that catch my attention: because if I am reading this correctly (and anyone feel free to correct me) the NHC models have this High/Ridge further north than it actually IS based on the actual information they are seeing. A "tad" to the west is more than that: 30 miles onshore instead of 30 miles offshore will make a big difference on how much impact Jeanne will have on the state of Florida.
Ok, now I'll take my "I Am Not A Meteorologist But I Do Play One on CFHC" hat off and leave it to the experts.
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