Looking at the latest visible satellite loop imagery Hurricane Jeanne seems to have reached a CAT 3 major tropical cyclone. She is also still on a westerly heading at around 15 miles per hour and continuing to strengthen. Her eye diameter continues to shrink in size as the eyewall tops are getting colder. Outflow is also looking more symmetrical also. Some dry air advection is still occurring on her left side but it seems to be having no affect on Jeanne at this time.
I just conducted a thorough synoptic analysis including looking upstream into the future environment in front of Jeanne including water temperature. I don't want to be alarmist BUT current environmental conditions seem ripe for Jeanne to rapidly grow to a "possible" CAT 4 status before landfall. I also still see no chance for a NW-N turn that would spare Florida of a direct hit from "another" major hurricane.
I continue to expect more track shifting to the left as Jeanne heads for a landfall somewhere between Palm Beach and Fort Pierce on early Sunday morning. It's also possible that my Tarpon Springs to Bayport exit corridor into the Gulf Of Mexico may have to be shifted further south down the west coast of Florida, something closer to a Tarpon Springs to a Sarasota exit corridor. That would allow for a serious storm surge to occur along much of the Nature Coast.
Take Care, Thomas F. Giella Retired Space & Atmospheric Weather Forecaster Plant City, FL
-------------------- Another typical August:
Hurricane activity is increasing and the Red Sox are choking.
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