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Frances Brings Chaos To Florida, Heads For AL & GA

NASA Modis Image Of Hurricane Frances As She Approached The Florida Coast
See also earlier image - Scoop Images: Hurricane Frances Brushes Florida

Florida braced itself for another 24 hours of damaging winds and torrential rains last night after Hurricane Frances very slowly moved over the hurricane prone State.

After the first nine hours of battering from the now Category 2 hurricane it was clear that there was still a great deal more to come. The latest forecast track from the NOAA National Hurricane Center (see below) indicates the monster storm will not move out into the Gulf of Mexico till early Sunday morning EST (Monday 9am NZT), and even then it will continue to bring heavy rain to Florida's panhandle for another 24 hours.

Frances is then expected to move into Alabama and Georgia where she will likely continue to wreak chaos with torrential rain over a large swathe of the west of the State for a further 24 hours. (Click here to view a NOAA GFS supercomputer rainfall animation showing rainfall forecasts for the next 180hrs – 1.3meg download)

The Latest Forecast Track - At Midnight Sunday NZT

Click for big version


At the height of the storm Frances brought sustained 170kmh winds to huge swathes of central and South Florida. But the worst damage is expected to be caused by flooding.

The image below is a weather radar image from about 10 hours after hurricane force winds first struck Palm Beach. It shows heavy rain over most of South and Central Florida. This rain, up to 20 inches (450mm) is expected in the worst hit spots, is expected to bring widespread flooding. Inland flooding in turn is historically the largest cause of loss of life in Hurricane events.

Click image to view archived radar image at the height of the storm last night

For breaking live news on Hurricane Frances - thought to be the worst to strike Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992(which smashed several airforce bases, did USD$26.5 billion in damage, killed 23 people and earned itself the title of the "most destructive US hurricane of record") - click on the links below, or search Google News.


South Florida Sun-Sentinel – Full Coverage Hurricane Frances
Miami Herald - Full Coverage Hurricane Frances
Yahoo News – Full Coverage Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

(Scoop coverage continuing...)

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