MIAMI – Hurricane Jeanne (search) churned toward the Bahamas on Thursday and appeared to be zeroing in on the southeast U.S. coast, with forecasts putting battered Florida firmly in the deadly storm's sights with landfall possible this weekend.
The reformed remnants of Hurricane Ivan (search), meanwhile, made landfall along the Texas-Louisiana coast Thursday at tropical storm strength.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (search) warned that Jeanne and its 105-mph top sustained winds could hit anywhere from Florida to the Carolinas. But Florida was a more likely target than it was a day earlier, said Eric Blake, a meteorologist at the hurricane center.
"It's time for Floridians to seriously pay attention," Blake said.
At 8 p.m. EDT, Jeanne was centered about 420 miles east of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas. It was barely moving, but forecasters expected it to pick up speed overnight and into early Friday. An eventual turn to the northwest was predicted, but it was unclear if that would happen before Jeanne reached Florida.
Jeanne could first pass over the northwest and central Bahamas, so those areas were under a tropical storm watch. Blake said it seemed less likely that Jeanne would curve back out to sea and avoid land.
Jeanne was blamed for more than 1,070 deaths in Haiti (search), where it hit over the weekend as a tropical storm and caused flooding. It moved out to sea before looping back toward land.
Many Floridians hoped that they were done with hurricanes this year. Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan hit the state over a span of five weeks this summer, causing billions of dollars of damage and more than 60 deaths.
Hurricane Ivan broke up after hitting the United States, but a piece of it spun back and reformed in the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm that struck along the Texas-Louisiana line Thursday with a potential for up to 10 inches of rain over the weekend.
"We're expecting it to move inland over the next couple of hours," said Robbie Berg, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center. About 7:15 p.m. EDT, winds were clocked at 45 mph. The storm was moving northwest at about 8 mph.
Systems with top sustained winds of 39 mph to 73 mph are classified as tropical storms. Those with top sustained winds of at least 74 mph are hurricanes.
Meanwhile, 105-mph Hurricane Karl stayed on an open-ocean course that threatened only ships, while Lisa weakened into a tropical depression with top sustained winds near 35 mph far out in the Atlantic.
The hurricane season ends Nov. 30.