Category five Hurricane Ivan is now one of the most dangerous hurricanes on record in the Caribbean with a central pressure approaching 900mb and packing winds in excess of 250 kmh. In the image above taken at 4.10pm UTC Sept 11 (approx 4am Sept 12. NZT) by NASA's MODIS Terra satellite the eye of Ivan has just passed Jamaica but the island is still receiving some of the worst weather it has in decades.
According to the latest National Hurricane Center forecast and advisory (see below or CLICK HERE) the Florida peninsula no longer appears to be in the path of this monster however. Having been hit twice over the past month this is likely to be a great relief for the Hurricane prone state.
Now Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia are all potentially in line to be clobbered. The storm is following a remarkably similar path to that followed by the devastating Hurricane Camille in 1969, the most intense storm of any kind to ever strike mainland America in modern history. Unlike Camille Ivan is not expected to strike the US coast at full Category 5 intensity.
That said Western Cuba and the Cayman Islands are presently expected to experience the full fury of a Category 5 landfall within the next 24 hours.
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Latest NHC Hurricane
Discussion as of 3pm Sunday Sept. 12 NZT
( CLICK HERE FOR UPDATES)
WTNT44 KNHC 120225
HURRICANE IVAN DISCUSSION NUMBER 39
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT SAT SEP 11 2004
THE HURRICANE HAS DEEPENED A LITTLE MORE THIS EVENING AND THE LAST CENTRAL PRESSURE OBSERVATION...BY DROPSONDE FROM THE HURRICANE HUNTERS...WAS 910 MB. IVAN RANKS SIXTH FOR LOWEST ATLANTIC BASIN CENTRAL PRESSURE BEHIND CAMILLE IN 1969 AND MITCH IN 1998 AT 905 MB EACH...ALLEN IN 1980 AT 899 MB...THE 1935 LABOR DAY HURRICANE AT 892 MB...AND GILBERT IN 1988 AT 888 MB. BOTH THE ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC ENVIRONMENT ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN FAVORABLE FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO...AND IVAN COULD STRENGTHEN EVEN MORE. HOWEVER...THERE IS NO SKILL IN PREDICTING INTENSITY CHANGES FOR SUCH EXTREME TROPICAL CYCLONES. IT SUFFICES TO SAY THAT IVAN IS LIKELY TO HAVE A DEVASTATING IMPACT OVER PORTIONS OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AND WESTERN CUBA. AFTER IVAN MOVES INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO...THE SHIPS MODEL SHOWS INCREASING SHEAR...SO SOME WEAKENING IS FORECAST IN 2-3 DAYS. NOTWITHSTANDING...IVAN IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN A POWERFUL AND DANGEROUS HURRICANE WHEN IT MAKES LANDFALL SOMEWHERE ALONG THE GULF COAST OF THE UNITED STATES.
THE EYE HAS BEEN WOBBLING OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS...BUT THE AIRCRAFT FIXES GIVE AN OVERALL MOTION OF ABOUT 285/7. AS A WEAK LOW MOVES SOUTHEASTWARD FROM THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY REGION...THE MID-TROPOSPHERIC RIDGE TO THE NORTH OF THE HURRICANE IS FORECAST TO WEAKEN...SO A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS PREDICTED. LATER IN THE PERIOD...IVAN SHOULD TURN NORTHWARD AND MOVE THROUGH THE WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE. THE CURRENT NHC TRACK FORECAST HAS BEEN ADJUSTED VERY SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT OF THE PREVIOUS ONE...BUT IT IS ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE SUITE.
BEAR IN MIND THAT 3-4 DAY FORECASTS ARE FAR FROM EXACT...SO THERE IS STILL CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY AS TO JUST WHEN AND WHERE IVAN WILL MAKE LANDFALL IN THE UNITED STATES.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 12/0300Z 18.3N 80.0W 145 KT
12HR VT 12/1200Z 19.0N 81.0W 145 KT
24HR VT 13/0000Z 20.3N 82.4W 145 KT
36HR VT 13/1200Z 21.6N 83.7W 145 KT
48HR VT 14/0000Z 23.3N 84.5W 130 KT
72HR VT 15/0000Z 27.0N 85.5W 115 KT
96HR VT 16/0000Z 31.0N 85.5W 70 KT...INLAND
120HR VT 17/0000Z 36.0N 83.0W 20 KT...INLAND