Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tropical Triplets Trek On
Hanna Targets Southeast Coast

5 pm Update: Ike Becomes a Hurricane, Hanna Accelerates Northward, Josephine Weakens

Ike has strengthened to a hurricane with maximum winds of 80 mph. It is forecast to become a major hurricane as it moves generally westward toward the Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Hanna remains at 60 mph, but it is forecast to become a hurricane as it moves northwestward near the Bahamas, then more northward toward the Southeast coast. The most likely landfall is in the Carolinas. Rain from Hanna is predicted to be as much as 3" in portions of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast by Saturday.

Tropical Storm Josephine has been weakened by strong wind shear and dry air. It now has maximum winds of 60 mph and is forecast to weaken further by tomorrow. At this point, Josephine is unlikely to become a hurricane.

11 am Update:
  • Hanna has become larger, but not stronger, and is now turning northward at 6 mph.
  • Ike is nearly a hurricane at 70 mph.
  • Josephine is also a little stronger with winds of 65 mph.
Earlier post:
The triple tropical storms Hanna, Ike, and Josephine continue at much the same strength this morning, although Josephine has intensified a little.

Tropical Storm Hanna, with maximum winds of 60 mph, has been moving erratically, but it seems to be completing a tight loop. As the upper level circulation pattern to the north becomes readjusted, Hanna is expected to gradually turn to the northwest with an increase in forward speed and strengthen. On the forecast track, it will pass through the Bahamas and approach the Southeast Coast by Friday. Landfall is possible as a hurricane anywhere from south-central Florida to the Carolinas, but the most likely target at this point is South Carolina. Once inland, a weakening Hanna should bring moderate to heavy rain through the Mid Atlantic area and the Northeast.

Tropical Storm Ike has maximum winds of 65 mph and continues moving west northwestward from a position about 835 miles east northeast of the Leeward Islands.

Tropical Storm Josephine, which has strengthened a bit to winds of 60 mph, is further east in the Atlantic, about 220 miles west southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Josephine is also moving west northwest.

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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