Although Hurricane Jeanne has weakened slightly, the storm’s maximum sustained winds are still near 100 mph (160 km/hr) with higher gusts. However, the National Hurricane Center’s latest bulletin warns, “some strengthening is possible during the next day or two.”
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km). The NHC said “a Hurricane Watch will likely be issued for portions of the Florida East Coast on Friday morning.” The warning indicates there’s a good possibility that Jeanne will strike the coast within the next 36 hours.
A Hurricane Watch remains in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas, while a Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for the Central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.
Jeanne is currently north of the Bahamas, and is moving westward at around 7-mph (10 km/hr). The NHC bulletin said, “this motion is expected to continue during the next 24 hours with a gradual increase in forward speed.” It also warned that “dangerous surf and rip currents, caused by large swells generated by Hurricane Jeanne, are possible along the Southeastern U.S. Coast and the Northwest and Central Bahamas for the next few days.”