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#6529 (Received by flhurricane at: 5:20 PM 29.Aug.2004)
TCDAT1
HURRICANE FRANCES DISCUSSION NUMBER 20
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 PM EDT SUN AUG 29 2004

A RECONNAISSANCE PLANE JUST REACHED THE EYE OF FRANCES AND MEASURED
A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 949 MB IN A 12 NMI EYE WITH FLIGHT LEVEL
WINDS OF 112 KNOTS. A DROP MEASURED 127 KNOTS AT THE 913 MB LEVEL
BUT THIS NUMBER IS NOT VERY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SURFACE WINDS.
SINCE THE PLANE HAS NOT SAMPLED THE ENTIRE CIRCULATION...IT IS
ASSUMED THAT THE MAXIMUM WINDS REMAIN AT 115 KNOTS. THE INITIAL
INTENSITY COULD BE A LITTLE BIT LOWER. ON SATELLITE...THE CLOUD
PATTERN CONTINUES TO BE IMPRESSIVE BUT WITH A LESS DISTINCT EYE.
FRANCES COULD EITHER INTENSIFY A LITTLE BIT MORE...BUT MOST LIKELY
...THE HURRICANE WILL EXPERIENCE SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY.
NEVERTHERLESS..IT IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN AN INTENSE HURRICANE.

FRANCES HAS SLOWED DOWN AND IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST OR 280 DEGREES
AT 8 KNOTS. AS FORECAST...THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE HAS BEEN BUILDING
AND EXPANDING TO THE NORTH OF THE HURRICANE. THIS RIDGE WILL FORCE
THE HURRICANE ON A GENERAL WEST AND THEN WEST-NORTHWEST TRACK
THROUGH 5 DAYS. LATEST MODEL RUNS ARE GRADUALLY SHIFTING THE TRACK A
LITTLE MORE THE NORTH AT THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THAT
INCLUDES BOTH THE GFS AND THE UK MODELS WHICH PREVIOUSLY BROUGH THE
HURRICANE TO NEAR THE FLORIDA KEYS OR SOUTH FLORIDA. THESE MODELS
ARE STILL BRINGING THE HURRICANE VERY CLOSE TO FLORIDA BUT AT A
HIGHER LATITUDE. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST REMAINS UNCHANGED AND IS
VERY CLOSE TO THE GLOBAL MODEL CONSENSUS. THE NEXT GLOBAL MODEL
RUNS WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DATA GATHER FROM THE GPS DROPSONDES TO
BE LAUNCH FROM THE NOAA HIGH ALTITUDE JET. WE WILL CAREFULLY
MONITOR THE IMPACT ON THESE NEW OBSERVATIONS IN TONIGHT'S RUNS.

FORECASTER AVILA

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 29/2100Z 18.8N 55.6W 115 KT
12HR VT 30/0600Z 19.1N 57.0W 120 KT
24HR VT 30/1800Z 19.5N 59.5W 120 KT
36HR VT 31/0600Z 20.0N 62.0W 120 KT
48HR VT 31/1800Z 20.5N 64.5W 120 KT
72HR VT 01/1800Z 22.5N 69.5W 120 KT
96HR VT 02/1800Z 24.0N 73.0W 125 KT
120HR VT 03/1800Z 25.5N 76.5W 125 KT