Jeanne has a large eye and the wind field is expanding. Last Air Force reconnaissance plane in the area measured a minimum pressure of 964 mb. Earlier a NOAA plane measured a peak wind of 107 knots at flight level. Thereafter...an Air Force plane measured only 95 knots in the same area. T-numbers have not increased and remain at 5.0 on the Dvorak scale. The initial intensity is kept at 85 knots until new data comes from another plane currently approaching the hurricane. The upper-level wind environment continues to be favorable for strengthening as indicated by the hurricane's outflow and raob data. This...in combination with a warmer ocean between the Bahamas and Florida...suggests some strehgthening and Jeanne could become a major hurricane before landfall.
The hurricane has been moving westward at about 10 knots. The strong high north of the hurricane will continue to force Jeanne on this general track for the next 12 to 24 hours. Thereafter...a gradual turn to the northwest and north should begin as the high shifts eastward. Althouh we are confident that the northward turn will occur...only a few more hours of additional westward motion than anticipated would bring the core of the hurricane farther inland over the peninsula. On the other hand...the hurricane could also make the turn earlier and slide along the East Coast of Florida. At this time...all indications are that the hurricane will move inland and will make the northward turn over the peninsula. This is based on the latest available model guidance which in fact has shifted a little bit westward. Even the GFDL which kept the core of the hurricane over water is now keeping the huricane hugging the East Coast of central and North Florida.
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