Hurricane Jeanne Landfall Observed by Citizen Weather Observer Program Stations
Hurricane Jeanne made landfall near Port St. Lucie, Florida on the evening of September 25, 2004, very near the same place that Hurricane Frances made landfall earlier in the month. On the eastern coast of Florida, there are numerous Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) stations owned and operated by private citizens who freely donate the real-time data from their weather stations to NOAA to help improve public weather services. CWOP is a volunteer program managed by FSL, with assistance of the NWS.
Oftentimes when there is severe weather, commercial power is lost and weather stations tend to go offline. However, during the Hurricane Jeanne landfall, two CWOP stations kept sending data from the Port St. Lucie area even after one million people lost power and all three ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System) stations between Melbourne (70 miles to the north) and Miami (70 miles to the south) went off line. CWOP station CW0262 (in Port St. Lucie) reported a gust to 81 mph, one of the highest gusts measured by any Florida station, before going silent after taking the brunt of Jeanne's western eye wall. CWOP station K4ZZR (3.4 miles to the east) experienced a couple of brief outages, but with two deep cycle gel cell batteries providing power, it continued to report in real time through Jeanne's eye wall passage. This station measured the lowest pressure observed in the United States for Jeanne, 954 mb. It marked Jeanne's eye passage with a classic "baro-V" pattern of decreasing and then increasing pressure as Jeanne's center passed immediately south of the K4ZZR station. The MADIS quality control information for K4ZZR indicates that in the previous month the pressure measurement was never flagged bad, providing assurance that the 954-mb pressure measurement is valid.