While her big brother Ivan terrorizes the U.S. Gulf Coast (see related articles), little sister Jeanne has remained an active tropical storm, but could become the season’s next hurricane.
Jeanne, the 10th named storm of the season, is currently located in the Mona Channel, which separates Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/hr) with higher gusts. “Jeanne is strengthening and will likely be a hurricane later this morning,” said the latest bulletin from Miami’s National Hurricane Center. A Category One hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson Scale has sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph (119 to 153 km/hr).
Even as a tropical storm, Jeanne caused some significant property damage and flooding on Guadeloupe, when it passed over the French Island territory on Tuesday. On Puerto Rico two persons were reportedly killed by mudslides, caused by heavy rains as Jeanne passed near the island. The NHC said “many rivers on Puerto Rico are already at or above flood stage, and that “isolated tornadoes” are possible over the island.
“A hurricane reconnaissance aircraft will investigate the system in the next few hours, “said the latest NHC bulletin. “Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 993 Mb (29.32 inches. Storm surge flooding of 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels, along with large and dangerous battering waves, can be expected along the north coast of the Dominican Republic later this morning.”
The NHC has issued a hurricane warning for the eastern and northern coasts of the Dominican Republic from La Plata southward to Isla Saona. A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch are in effect for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic from west of Puerto Plata westward to Monte Cristo and along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Isla Saona westward to Santo Domingo. A hurricane watch remains in effect for the southeastern Bahamas, including the Acklins, Crooked Island, The Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands, as well as for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Puerto Rico.
Jeanne is currently moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (14.5 km/hr), “and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours,” said the NHC. The projected five-day storm track, which, as Ivan has shown, is highly variable, forecasts that the storm will pass over the Bahamas before turning further North into the Atlantic. On that course it could pose a threat to Georgia and the Carolinas sometime next week.
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