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Boston Weather: 37.0°F | Overcast

Drenching, By Georges

By Marek Zebrowski
Staff Meteorologist

After a week or so of relatively calm conditions, the tropics have become extremely active again, with a very rare appearance of four Atlantic hurricanes currently in view. Only one of them - Georges - poses an immediate threat to the U.S. mainland, and will be a weather factor over the Southeastern U.S. region during the next few days.

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, Georges was located at 22.9 north and 79.0 west, moving at 12 knots along the northern coast of Central Cuba on a northwesterly track. The maximum sustained winds were 85 mph (near 130 kmh). Georges is expected to strengthen and become better organized in the next 24 hours as it passes over the Florida Keys and moves into very warm waters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Residents of the Keys, Florida's West Coast as well as those of the Panhandle area and the shores of Alabama may expect very high tides, considerable surf, strong winds and copious rainfall - likely to exceed 12 inches in some locations.

The next strongest hurricane - Jeanne - is located at 17.2 North and 36.0 West (about 710 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands), and moving west to northwest at 12 knots. Maximum winds are 90 knots (160 kmh), and Jeanne's track is expected to become more northerly over the next 48 hours. This system will move towards the central Atlantic and will pose a threat only to shipping lanes.

Also visible on the water vapor satellite taken at 7:15 p.m. Thursday are:

Hurricane Karl, located at 32.0 north and 57.0 west, with maximum winds of 45 knots (80 kmh), slowly moving towards east-southeast.

Hurricane Ivan, located at 34.0 north and 42.5 west, 840 miles west-southwest of the Azores Islands. Ivan's maximum sustained winds are clocked at 80 knots (145 kmh). This hurricane will move towards the north-northwest at about 10 knots during the next 24 hours. Afterwards, it is expected to turn into northeast and weaken gradually before it brings some rains and strong winds to the western Azores late Saturday.