An Eye on the Tropics: Hanna, Ike and Josephine – 06-SEP-2008 12:30 AM

Tropical Storm Hanna is almost hurricane strength. Location: near latitude 32.4 North and Longitude 79.1 West or about 60 miles east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina and about 140 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina. Maximum Sustained Winds are 70 mph. Minimum Centralized Pressure is 978 mb. Hanna is moving to the north around 20 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 260 miles, mainly to the north and east of the storm’s center.

Hurricane Ike is currently a category 3 storm. Ike was near 22.6 north and 65.6 west, or about 360 miles east -northeast of Grand Turk Island. Maximum sustained winds are 115 mph with higher gusts. The estimated central pressure is 958 mb, or 28.29 inches. The hurricane is moving west-southwest at 16 mph. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 120 miles.

Josephine has been downgraded to a tropical depression. Josephine was centered around 16.3 north, 35.8 west. This is 785 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Maximum sustained winds are estimated to be 35 mph with a central pressure of 1006 mb, or 29.71 inches. Josephine will remain in a hostile environment for the next couple of days due to shear and also cooler waters in its path. Currently moving to the west-northwest at 7 mph, this motion should continue with some increase in forward speed.

Friday, September 6, 2008 – 11:00 PM advisory from AccuWeather


Tropical storm warnings have been extended farther north and now are in effect from Edisto beach, South Carolina northward along the Atlantic Coast to Watch Hill, Rhode Island, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, all of the Chesapeake Bay, The Tidal Potomac, Washington D.c., Delaware Bay, New York Harbor and Long Island Sound.

A hurricane watch remains in effect north of South Santee River, South Carolina to Currituck Beach Light, North Carolina, including the Pamlico Sound. A hurricane warning may be required for this area during the early morning hours Saturday.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect from east of Watch Hill, Rhode Island to Merrimack River, Massachusetts, including Block Island, Marthas Vineyard and Nantucket.

The tropical storm warning south of Edisto Beach, South Carolina and the hurricane watch south of Santee River has been discontinued.

Hanna is very close to becoming a hurricane. A large, cold CDO formed early in the evening and both radar and satellite pictures have shown a center within the center of the convection. Surface pressures have dropped but winds, as reported by the hurricane hunter plane, still have not risen to hurricane force. However it won’t take much strengthening for Hanna to become a Category 1 hurricane before landfall. In reality, there is little difference in the effects from a strong tropical storm and a low-end Category 1 hurricane. Storm surge caused by the winds around the storm will average 3-6 feet above normal water levels. Large, dangerous waves will batter areas where winds are blowing onshore. Swells from Hanna will cause rough surf and rip currents along the Southeast coast into Saturday.

The most likely area of landfall is along the Grand Strand of South Carolina during the early morning hours, probably within 20 to 30 miles of Myrtle Beach. Our current thinking is that Hanna will move inland early Saturday morning and should be over southeast North Carolina by daybreak with an increase in forward speed. Hannas path will parallel the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts roughly just east of the I-95 corridor. Areas within 100 miles of either side of the storm’s path will experience 2-4 inches of rain with some isolated 5- to 6-inch totals. The highest rainfall totals shortly after landfall will be along and east of Hanna’s track. But, the heavier rainfall will shift more to the west of the storm’s track during Saturday. Tropical storm-force winds of 40-60 mph will blow along and mostly east of the I-95 corridor from east-central North Carolina northward into eastern New England. The strongest wind gusts, over 60 mph, will occur right along the coast. Hanna will bring very rough, dangerous surf from the Southeast States northward mid-Atlantic coasts through Saturday, then the New England coast Saturday night and Sunday.

click on picture for animation

Hanna Spaghetti Model 1

Hanna Spaghetti Model 1

Hanna Spaghetti Model 2

Hanna Spaghetti Model 2

Hanna Spaghetti Model 3

Hanna Spaghetti Model 3

Hanna Model Verification

Hanna Model Verification - click on picture for animation

click on picture for animation

A hurricane warning has been issued for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeast Bahamas. Also a hurricane watch has been issued for the Central Bahamas.

Ike is expected to remain a major hurricane over the next couple of days. The intensity of Ike may fluctuate due to influence from shear over the next 24 hours. A west southwest track is forecast over the next few days. Ike will stay well north of the Leeward Islands tonight and track well north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Friday night and Saturday. Ike will then start to affect Turks and Caicos Islands by later Saturday night and Sunday and start to affect the central Bahamas Sunday and Sunday night. Ike is now expected to track through the central Bahamas during Sunday night and Monday. The track and forward speed of Ike from Sunday into early next week has become more uncertain again. For the past 24 hours models have been converging and agreeing more and more on a more southerly and westward track, in addition to a quicker track. This has continued to be the case late in the afternoon and early evening Friday. Many of the hurricane models and other global models now take Ike either through the Florida Straits or into northern Cuba before moving into the southeastern Gulf. Due to the vast amount of changes in the models in the past 24 hours, we cannot say for certain were Ike is headed. Our forecast eye path has been moved a little farther south than earlier on Friday but not to the extent that many models would indicate. In addition, a reevaluation of the timing may have to take place. We are playing a wait and see approach to see if the models stabilize on a given solution. Because of this, all interests in the Bahama, Florida and the eastern Gulf Coast States should keep up with the latest information on Ike.

Ike Spaghetti Model 1

Ike Spaghetti Model 1

Ike Spaghetti Model 2

Ike Spaghetti Model 2

Ike Spaghetti Model 3

Ike Spaghetti Model 3

Ike Model Verification

Ike Model Verification - click on picture for animation

Tropical Depression Josephine is poorly organized and has weakened to a tropical depression. Unless something changes with this storm, Josephine will not be included in future posts.

Josephine Spaghetti Model

Josephine Spaghetti Model

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