Thursday, September 4, 2008

PM Update: Tropical Storm Hanna Watches and Warnings Extended

11 pm Update: Tropical Storm Hanna continues to move northwest toward the Southeast U.S. coast. At 11 pm, it was moving at 14 mph from a position 540 miles south of Wilmington, NC. Maximum winds are still 65 mph, although satellite images show that Hanna is a little better organized than earlier in the day. Another reconnaissance flight will check out the area in a few hours.

Hurricane Ike is still a major Category 4 storm with maximum winds of 135 mph. It's moving on a due west course at a speed of 14 mph with a turn more toward west southwest expected on Friday. The forecast track continues to take the storm through the Bahamas with a possible landfall in southern Florida by early next week.

Tropical Storm Josephine remains weak; maximum winds are 45 mph.

Original post:
Tropical Storm Hanna has been attempting to organize its circulation pattern today while maximum winds remain at the strong tropical storm level, 65 mph. Although Hanna could potentially reach hurricane force before landfall, that is unlikely.

A Hurricane Watch has been extended for portions of the Carolinas, however, in recognition that there is very little difference between a strong tropical storm and a minimal hurricane. Tropical storm warnings and watches have also been extended from as far south as the Georgia coast to New Jersey, including the Chesapeake Bay, tidal Potomac, and Washington, DC.

Hurricane Ike is still a Category 4 storm, but maximum winds are now a little lower at 135 mph. Ike is expected to fluctuate in intensity, but it should still be a very strong hurricane when it arrives in the vicinity of the Bahamas late in the weekend. After that, Ike could do anything from remaining out to sea to hitting Florida or Cuba, or even moving on into the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Josephine remains weak with winds of only 45 mph.

Images (top to bottom): 24-hour precipitation forecast ending 8 pm Saturday from National Weather Service; Hanna, Ike, and Josephine forecast tracks from National Hurricane Center

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