11 pm EDT Update: As of 11 pm, Ana was moving across the Leeward Islands with 35 mph winds, Bill had strengthened to just below hurricane force at 70 mph, and Claudette (50 mph) was about to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle from a position about 25 miles west of Panama City.
Tropical Storm Ana has continued weakening this afternoon and is now a tropical depression with maximum winds of 35 mph as of 5 pm. Little change in intensity is expected in the next 24 hours, but it could degenerate further into a tropical wave tonight. Tropical Storm Watches are in effect, however, from the Dominican Republic eastward through much of the northeastern Caribbean Islands.
Satellite images show that Tropical Storm Bill has developed an impressive-looking structure, including a central dense overcast, banding, and upper-level outflow. It now has maximum winds of 65 mph. The models continue to forecast strengthening, and one of them has a 38% chance of a 30 kt. increase in wind speed in the next 24 hours. Several of them show Bill becoming a Category 4 hurricane within 5 days.
Tropical Storm Claudette continues approaching a likely landfall on the Florida Panhandle tonight. Winds remain at 50 mph, but some strengthening is still possible. The main threat from this storm is heavy rain, with amounts of 3-6" and isolated maximums of 10" expected. At 4 pm CDT, the storm was centered about 40 miles west-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida moving northwest at 14 mph.
Images (click to enlarge): Forecast tracks for Tropical Storms Bill (upper) and Claudette (middle) and combined 5-day probability of tropical storm force winds from National Hurricane Center
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