Three Tropical Systems Continue
At 10:00am CDT –
– Tropical Storm warning for Altamaha Sound, Georgia, northward to
Sand Hook, New Jersey. A hurricane watch remains for Edisto Beach, SC
northward to Currituck Beach Light, NC.
– The center of Tropical Storm Hanna was located 375 miles
south-southwest at Wilmington, North Carolina. Movement is towards
the northwest at 20mph and a turn towards the north with an increase
in forward speed is expected later today. Maximum sustained winds are
near 65mph and there is a slight chance that Hanna may briefly become
a hurricane prior to landfall. Minimum surface pressure is 980mb.
– Hanna is a large cyclone with tropical storm force winds extending
outward up to 315 miles from the center.
– Hanna is expected to make landfall early Saturday morning in South Carolina.
– The center of Category 3 Hurricane Ike was located 550 miles east
–northeast of the Grand Turk Island. Movement is towards the west at
16mph and a turn towards the west-southwest is expected today and
tomorrow. Maximum sustained winds are near 120mph and some weakening
is expected. Minimum surface pressure is 954mb.
– A hurricane watch is possible for the southeastern Bahamas, and the
Turk and Caicos Islands later today.
– The center of Tropical Storm Josephine was located 695 miles west of
the southernmost Cape Verde Islands. Movement is towards the
west-northwest at 8mph, maximum sustained winds are near 45mph, and
minimum surface pressure is 1003mb.
Hanna only has a few more hours over water before making landfall
either late tonight or early Saturday morning. It is moving over the
warm Gulf Stream, but with the circulation so large, would be quite
tough for it to intensify. Since it is at 65mph right now, it would
not take much for it to reach 75mph. Either way, Hanna is only
expected to landfall as a strong tropical storm. The quick movement
of Hanna should keep excessive rainfall potential limited, although
this area does need the rain.
Josephine is very close to being downgraded to a tropical depression
and at this point is not a threat to the U.S.
Ike continues as a major hurricane despite the northerly shear across
the cyclone. Satellite imagery shows a decayed structure this
morning, but still impressive. NHC relates that the models reduce
shear by Sunday and this would allow Ike to stabilize. At that point
the intensity becomes a function of water temperature and land
interaction. Since Hanna has stirred up a lot of cooler water this
may briefing impact Ike. Assuming Ike does not make landfall and
moves past Hanna's wake, it could be close to a Category 4 hurricane
The track forecast is quite problematic and why I (and especially NHC)
continue to stress not to focus on the 4 and 5 day plot. The forecast
reasoning does remain the same. There is a strong deep layer ridge to
the north of Ike. As Hanna moves north this ridge should develop
southward between the two systems. The expected west-southwest motion
is due to this interaction. As we get to Monday there is a lot of
disagreement among the models with reliable models on both sides. The
NHC's forecast track is now just south of Florida and takes Ike into
the Gulf just west of Florida. Ike will continued to be monitored.
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