Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
The new Washington
Post Weather website
Jump to CWG's
Latest Full Forecast
Outside now? Radar, temps
and more: Weather Wall
Follow us on Twitter (@capitalweather) and become a fan on Facebook
Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 09/ 5/2008

Hanna Charging Towards Carolina Coast

By Capital Weather Gang
Satellite image of Hanna, positioned east of Florida, at 11 a.m. Courtesy NOAA.

*Tropical Storm Warning issued for entire metro area and Eastern shore.*
*Flash Flood Watch for metro area Saturday morning through afternoon*

Live Chat at 2 p.m.

At 11 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Hanna was about 375 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and expected to make landfall along the northern South Carolina coast tonight before tracking north and then northeast toward the Chesapeake Bay. But as the National Hurricane Center and others have pointed out, the exact track of the storm center is not so important because tropical storm force winds and significant rains extend well out from its center -- about 315 miles.

The storm is looking more impressive on satellite (shown above), as deep convection (i.e. thunderstorms) is forming near the center. It is possible Hanna will become a Category 1 hurricane prior to landfall. But rapid intensification is not likely and our overall impacts assessment has not changed. There is little difference between a strong tropical storm (what Hanna is now) and a weak hurricane (what Hanna may become).

Keep reading for the latest on Hanna. See also our comprehensive assessment of Hanna that includes a storm timeline, rainfall potential, wind projections, and frequently asked questions.

The first signs of Hanna locally will be increasing clouds during the afternoon, and then a chance (about 40%) of some showers by early evening. The main area of heavy rain probably doesn't move in until overnight, which is also when winds will start to pick up.

We continue to believe much of the metro area will conservatively receive 2-4" of rain. The National Hurricane Center now indicates the possibility of 3-7" of rain, with isolated 10" amounts. Winds should generally be in the 25-40 mph range in the immediate metro area with gusts to 50 mph possible. Stronger winds are likely near and east of the Chesapeake Bay.

Track Hanna with the interactive map below.

Powered by hurricane-tracking software from Forecast tracks are the latest from the National Hurricane Center. Pan, zoom, and click on points along the storm's projected track for intensity forecasts.

By Capital Weather Gang  | September 5, 2008; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hanna Heading to Region With Heavy Rains, Wind
Next: Hanna On Course to Pound Region Saturday


The extent of the wind field about Hanna is shown nicely in the QuickSat image valid about 8 o'clock this morning:

As shown in the "impacts" post ( ) it's clear the strongest winds are east of the storm center.

As mentioned yesterday in one of my comments and reinforced in today's CWG "impacts", heaviest rainfall is to the west of the storm track. Just as in winter a small change in the path of a storm can make all the difference in the world in rain versus snow, a small change (error) in the most likely track of Hanna could be quite consequential in the distribution and effects of wind and rain.

Sometimes it's just the nature of the beast that what one gets at any particular location won't be known literally much before looking out the window

Posted by: Steve Tracton | September 5, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused. If Jamaica and Haiti can tear up a hurricane, why doesn't a trip all the way over NC and VA tear up this tropical storm? Is it a difference in geography (Jamaica has mountains, eastern NC and VA don't)? Trajectory? Or (I know this is it...) do lots of factors have to come together in order for a trip over land to affect a TS?

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | September 5, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

It really surprises me that we can get over 2 inches of rain from a poorly-organized tropical storm passing us by so quickly to our southeast. We're on the WEAK side of this system, and might see 3 to 6 hours of rain with 25 mph winds, but it might be all over by 4 PM tomorrow if Hanna accelerates as these systems tend to do at this latitude. Maybe there won't be too many thunderstorms on the weak side for us.

It's possible that Ike could pose more of a flooding threat than Hanna, but that depends on Ike's track. If Ike's remnants reach this area the rain could fall on ground already saturated by Hanna, thus posing a greater flood threat.

Posted by: El Bombo | September 5, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Laura--you're right, it's the mountains. Jamaica's mountains go up to 7000 feet, and Haiti has mountains up to 8700 feet. Our mountains are far enough west (and not as high), so they're not in play.

Posted by: John | September 5, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for this blog. I have the Weather Channel on my desktop and get alerts on my cell phone. All those messages say "This message contains information for people in the affected areas on what to do." Then never say what to do. That is the entire message. If it weren't for this blog, I would be wondering if I need to board up windows or head for high ground or whatever.

Posted by: ep | September 5, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Howard Bernstein is now calling for 3 to 6+ inches of rain, until 8 pm tomorrow.

Posted by: El Bombo | September 5, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

El Bombo, while I might not be totally qualified to answer your question, I think this piece should be helpful.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 5, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What are the chances that air travel will be affected? I'm flying out of BWI tomorrow morning to Boston for a wedding in Newport, RI. Yep, the rain will follow me too.

Posted by: traveller | September 5, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Models continue to shift westward, some have the track actually just west of DC now. This likely means greater Potomac flooding and stronger winds.

Godspeed Hanna!!

Posted by: Brian in Alex | September 5, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Another reason Hanna will not weaken much before reaching our area is its very fast forward motion. It just won't have much time over land to weaken.

Traveller: Expect major travel delays and cancelations along the East Coast tomorrow

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | September 5, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Come and get me, Hanna! My yard needs a thorough drenching. It'll be a good transition from summer to fall.

Posted by: mart | September 5, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The Tropical Storm Wind Warning has been expanded to a larger area further to the west, including Montgomery/Loudoun/
Frederick Counties, etc., however it still says that the strongest wind gusts will be east of I-95.

Posted by: R | September 5, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

So how will Hanna compare to Isabel? Any thoughts?

Posted by: mdsailor | September 5, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I live on the Bay and I know this is going to really be a bear for me. Your standard noreaster results in flooding, winds, no power, etc. I've spent most of the morning 'policing up' the yard and moving stuff out of the path. The westward shift really bummed me out as I was hoping it would keep going eastward out to sea. Oh well.

Posted by: PenguinSix | September 5, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

mdsailor: Winds from Hanna probably won't be quite as strong as Isabel in the metro area, but near the Bay, they may come close.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | September 5, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I lived in SoFL for 14 yrs. Let me know when a real hurricane (i.e., Andrew, Frances, Wilma) gets here. Until then, I'll just be going on as usual. My yard, however, could use a good drenching.

Posted by: ms1234 | September 5, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Its the Great Summer Nor'easter of 2008! Sustained ENE winds to 40+...heavy precip...we need this type of setup in January. Regardless, the amount of rain in such a short period of time will make things quite interesting. As for Ike...he's not looking so hot this afternoon, but he's going to be a major force next week somewhere.

Posted by: Dulles ARC | September 5, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Reporters should be more careful about their facts:

At 11 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Hanna was about 375 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina

No - its southeast of Wilmington (SW would be over land) - how can someone be so sloppy about the basics - scary

Posted by: Jeff | September 5, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

If you lived in Baltimore and you had a wedding to attend on Saturday in Petersburg, VA at 3:30 pm would you go?

Posted by: Murray S | September 5, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Jeff - it is SW of Wilmington - look at a map with coordinates...

Posted by: Dulles ARC | September 5, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

You beat me to it Dulles ARC, glad you did, you "phrased it better" anyway :) Get baby ARC ready for the tropical action!

Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | September 5, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

If I lived in Baltimore and had a wedding to attend on Saturday in Petersburg at 3:30pm...I'd leave right now and get a hotel in Petersburg :-\

Posted by: AC | September 5, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

should i be alright traveling on saturday morning (8 am)from camden, south carolina to the prison in bennettsville, south carolina?

Posted by: asbury | September 5, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Mike - Baby ARC is attacking her stuffed bunny right now while her dad is getting ready to possbily deploy to S. FL for Ike...she couldnt care less about Hanna! I'm definitely on call to head to FL for Ike on Monday possibly...if I go, I'll make sure that I post some good pics and video here. If not, well, I have a vacation planned next Sat for a week in Nags Head...yep in the middle of Sept- the price is right, even if the hurricanes arent...As fast as Hanna is going to be moving and with 4+ inches of rain forecast, its going to rain really, really hard, with some "Chubby" raindrops.

Posted by: Dulles ARC | September 5, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

suggestion for "traveller" -- if you can move up your timetable, take the train from Union Station (or BWI Station, or Baltimore Penn Station) to Kingston, R.I. You can go overnight (DP D.C. 10 p.m., AR 6:30 a.m) or you can go up very early Saturday morning. It takes a lot to stop the trains! The happy couple will be glad you made it while other guests got stranded at airports.

Posted by: John in Bethesda | September 5, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

We need a war on hurricanes,
Brian Sandler

I recently received a patent on a machine designed to destroy hurricanes.
At my website there is a complete description of the machine.
Please contact me at the above address if you have any questions.
Brian Sandler

Posted by: Brian Sandler | September 5, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Jeff- Dulles ARC is right and so were we. The storm IS south-southwest of Wilmington. Look at the tracking map embedded at the end of the post

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | September 5, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

John in Bethesda: thanks for the suggestion but I don't want to waste the ticket. The wedding is not until Sunday night so I have time to get there, won't be pleasant but, plenty of time.

Posted by: traveller | September 5, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I continue to be impressed with the size of the rain shield from Hanna. This is a very large system and with the s.e. fetch I'm sure the rain will be more widespread than with many such systems.

Having said this

Many of the 12z model runs have diminished the western extent of the heavy rain. This has occured at a time when the NWS is extending the western limit of the Flash Flood Watches. I am now under one in the Central Valley. Were they reacting to 06z data when they extended at 8:52 am??
Their qp projections are easily 200% of three of the 12z models that I have looked at.


Posted by: Augusta Jim | September 5, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

If you were in charge of Wolf Trap, would you cancel tomorrow afternoon's performance?

Posted by: Les in DC | September 5, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Um, yes, Les, I'd think that would be a very, very good idea!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

very crowded at the grocery store this afternoon - people are gearing up for this!

Posted by: madison | September 5, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Augusta Jim, I hope you do get some rain. What are your thoughts on the western extent of wind? (My personal terror.)

Posted by: tinkerbelle | September 5, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Les: Indeed I would cancel tomorrow afternoon's performance if I were in charge of Wolf Trap.

One note on Hanna v. Isabel: Hanna's expected storm surge is much less than Isabel's. So while the winds along the Bay may reach similar speeds, we're not expecting the same extent of flooding along the coast.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | September 5, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Re:Jeff and SW of Wilmington -- also correct was the National Hurricane Center, who reported the position as such.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | September 5, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm supposed to go to Ocean City, MD this weekend, do you think it'll get hit hard?

Posted by: beachgoer | September 5, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh no Hanna is coming to cause Havok!!! Where is Barrahcuda Girl?? Put up the Signal Maybe She can turn Hanna around.! Sarah Palin is the new Obama, The new most famous person in the world. The new One! that can spread the waters. Uh Oh, Wonder if she is a Muslim too? Or worse, the anti-christ?

This site has background info on sarah Palin Bio Pics Videos

This site has everything about her scandals and Levi BF of her daughter

This site has the inside scoop about the Palin Dui Secret

Its all about Palin for the next few weeks. It might be a bad thing that she is more Popular then McCain.

Posted by: Peter | September 5, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

this is God's punishment for electing Bush

Posted by: McSame | September 5, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

What is your experience with severe weather?


Posted by: Green Atom | September 5, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

If you need help after a flood, they have alot of info at

Posted by: Scott | September 5, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

It's toward with no (s)...

Posted by: Claude Balls | September 5, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

will mrytle beach be affected

Posted by: Chrystal | September 5, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I supposed to be in Mrytle Beach on Monday will it be safe ?

Posted by: Lisa | September 5, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

bUSh hurts Iraq = Hurricanes hurts US

1991 HW Bush attacked Iraq.
1992 Hurricane Andrew

2003-present W Bush attacks Iraq
2004 Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne
2005 Katrina, Rita
2006 Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Florence.
2007 Dean, Erin
2008 Fay, Gustav, Hanna?, Ike?, Josephine?, ???

** Katrina code **
kATRIna -> .ATRI.. -> RITA
katRINA -> ...RINA -> IRAN
KAtRIna -> KA.RI.. -> IR AK
KATrinA -> KAT...A -> ATAK
** The warning **

Posted by: larry | September 5, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

New realtime fiction screenplay featuring Hurricanes Hanna and Ike now available online--

"I Like Ike"--

Posted by: ersatznews | September 5, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I just slept through the eye of the storm as it passed over us in Wake forest, NC. When I looked outside it wasn't that bad. The only damage was a few branches lying around and it was still pretty windy and cloudy, but overall dont freak out about it

Posted by: george | September 6, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

this storm aint nothin i jus hope ppl are prepared for ike god bless those thats in that path

Posted by: milla | September 6, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2012 The Washington Post Company