September 4, 2008

TS Hanna Takes Aim at SE NC. May Reach Hurricane Strength by Landfall

The Weather Channel
8:45 p.m. ET 9/4/2008

At 8 p.m. EDT, Hanna was located 580 miles south-southeast of Wilmington, NC, and is moving northwest at 14 mph. Maximum winds near the center have remained at 65 mph.

Hanna will continue in this general motion bringing gusty winds, high seas, and squalls of tropical storm-force winds and wind-swept rain across the Bahamas.

It is still forecast to strengthen but Hanna's appearance is an ugly mess. It has no markings of a classic-looking tropical cyclone. It is a highly disorganized tropical storm and will have a lot to do in a short period of time to organize and strengthen to a hurricane.

Hurricane and tropical storm watches have now been posted for parts of the Southeast U.S. Coast and tropical storm warnings remain posted for the northwestern and central Bahamas.

Because of Hanna's appearance, it is important to note that one should not focus solely on the center of circulation. In fact, the worst of Hanna may not actually be found close to the center of circulation but rather away from it. Impacts such as tropical storm-force gusts, tropical downpours, and very choppy surf will be felt hundreds of miles away from the center.

That being said, the center of Hanna is projected to make landfall near the coastal South Carolina/North Carolina border or perhaps just east of there very early on Saturday morning.

After landfall, Hanna will quickly spread rain and breezy conditions up the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast on Saturday; impacting several major cities. However, due its rapid forward speed, the storm will not linger. Hanna will be exiting off the New England coast by as early as mid-morning Sunday. Thankfully, rainfall totals will not come anywhere close to what we have seen with Fay or Gustav.
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