Hurricane Forecast: "No Letup" in Weeks Ahead

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The three storms formed within the past seven days, bringing to ten the total number of named storms so far in the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, which began on June 1 and will end on November 30.

As of 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, tropical storm Hanna was over the southern Bahamas with winds of about 70 miles (113 kilometers) an hour—just shy of hurricane status.

Hanna is expected to gradually strengthen over the next three days before making landfall on Friday or Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane anywhere from West Palm Beach (map), Florida, north to Charleston (map), South Carolina.

Tropical storm Ike is about 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) east of San Juan (map), Puerto Rico, and has winds of about 50 miles (80 kilometers) an hour.

The current five-day forecast from the National Hurricane Center says that by Saturday, Ike will have developed into a Category 2 hurricane (with wind speeds of 96 to 110 miles an hour, or 155 to 177 kilometers an hour). Ike could pose a threat anywhere from Jamaica to Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to current models.

Newly formed tropical storm Josephine is just off the west coast of Africa with winds of about 40 miles (64 kilometers) an hour. That storm will be in the south-central Atlantic by Friday and is expected to head west-northwest toward the Caribbean, the Gulf ofMexico, or the southern U.S. East Coast.

Willie Drye is author of Storm of the Century: the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, published by National Geographic Books.


Hurricane Facts
Hurricane Safety Tips
Hurricane Photos
New Orleans' Faulty Levees (National Geographic Magazine)
Forecasting Killer Hurricanes (National Geographic Magazine)

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