Quote: Hurricane Frances is moving west northwest toward the southern Bahama Islands today. Frances is expected to take a more northwesterly course on Friday toward the central Florida peninsula.
Her winds are currently at 140mph with gusts to 170mph - a Category IV hurricane. While some fluctuation in intensity is likely over the next couple of days, I now expect landfall in the Stuart to Fort Pierce area at 5am on Saturday morning with winds of 145mph gusting to 175mph. [This does not mean people outside this area should let their guard down - mike]
Frances should pass 25 to 30 miles southwest of Melbourne at 4pm Saturday afternoon - winds at that time near the center should be 115mph gusting to 140mph with winds in the Melbourne area and along the beaches at 100mph gusting to 125mph.
(Image thanks to Skeetobite)
As this graphic shows (Thanks again Sketobyte), this is a BIG storm with a wide area of effect. I'd like to remind all in the forecast path that by the time it even GETS to shore, the landfall area will have had storm winds for HOURS. If it comes ashore in the MLB area for instance, ORLANDO will have had Hurricane force winds for quite some time already and TS force for much longer. The LAND FALL TIME is not 'how much time I have to complete preparations', it is many hours earlier....like by Friday evening at the latest. I hope all of the members of this forum realize this, but preach it to your neighbors that are stiing around watching local TV and NOT realizing the time is MUCH less than the landfall times would suggest.
A forecast is NOT a promise!
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