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Jeanne - 2004
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HURRICANE JEANNE

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Hurricane Jeanne Heads for Florida

A tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa and became Tropical Depression Eleven six days later on September 13. The depression moved in a general west-northwest, and was named Tropical Storm Jeanne on September 14 as it grazed the Leeward Islands. The WNW track took the storm to a landfall in Puerto Rico on September 15 with winds of 70 mph. Jeanne moved over Puerto Rico and then moved towards the Dominican Republic and made landfall there as a hurricane with winds of 80 mph.

The hurricane slowly grazed over the northern edge of Hispaniola, dumping heavy rains in Haiti as the storm weakened. Haiti's rough terrain briefly weakened the storm to a depression before it left the island. The storm formed a new center as it regenerated north of Hispaniola. While Jeanne was pounding the islands with rain, Hurricane Ivan was churning in the Gulf of Mexico towards the Gulf Coast. The dissipation on Ivan eventually triggered the Subtropical Ridge that was steering Jeanne west to collapse. Over the next few days, Jeanne's movement was very slow and erratic. The storm started moving northward away from Hispaniola, all the while Jeanne gradually became a hurricane once again.

At this point, Jeanne curved to the east, and completed a full clockwise loop before turning back to the WNW. This led to difficulty in predicting where the storm would head next. The steering currents finally increased and Jeanne started moving faster West towards Florida and the Bahamas. Jeanne became a Category 3 major hurricane before slamming into the northern bahamas. Jeanne reached her peak strength with a pressure of 951 mbar and winds of 120 mph just before making landfall near Sewalls Point, Florida late on September 25. This was within three miles of where Hurricane Frances had struck just a few weeks prior.

Unlike Frances, however, Jeanne curved more to the north and remained over Florida, never entering the Gulf of Mexico. Jeanne was downgraded to a depression on September 27 over central Georgia.

Over ten inches of sudden rain fell in the northern mountains of Haiti as Jeanne swiped the island. This rain triggered land and mudslides and severe flooding which killed over 3,000. An additional five direct deaths occured in Florida. Total damages are estimated at near 7 Billion Dollars.

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