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Posted at 1:10 PM ET, 09/ 3/2008

Hanna's Track Trends East as it Heads Toward D.C.

By Dan Stillman

A first call on local impacts


Latest forecast track for Hanna from the National Hurricane Center.

Hanna has remained a tropical storm today, with sustained winds near 60 mph, as it moves slowly north away from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. While it has not strengthened since yesterday, it has become larger with tropical storm force winds extending almost 300 miles from its center.

Weather Underground's Jeff Masters predicts Hanna will make landfall in North Carolina or South Carolina as a strong tropical storm or weak Category 1 hurricane. I concur. But when? The National Hurricane Center, which yesterday had the storm making landfall Friday night, now predicts it will come ashore Saturday morning. The timing forecast will likely continue to fluctuate.

Keep reading for a first call on D.C. area impacts from Hanna and an interactive tracking map. Also, see our full forecast through the weekend, and UnitedCast and NatCast for the forecast for tonight's games.


Probability of experiencing tropical storm force winds (sustained at more than 39 mph) from Hanna. Green stripe through D.C. metro area represents a 10-20% chance. Border of light green-yellow stripes along Eastern Shore represents a 30% chance. Click here for enlarged graphic and legend.

As for where Hanna goes after making landfall, computer models have been shifting the storm's track to the east as it races quickly up the East Coast, affecting the D.C. area on Saturday. That would probably keep the best chance of tropical storm force winds (sustained at more than 39 mph) along the Eastern Shore, leaving the metro area with weaker but still strong and gusty winds on Saturday -- ballpark guess would be sustained winds at 25-35 mph with occasional gusts to 55-65 mph. This is just an early guess and could very well change.

On the current forecast track, rain could be heavy at times on Saturday across the region with some thunderstorms in the mix as well. But if the track shifts even further to the east, then so too could the heaviest rains. Hanna will be a fast-mover, which should help to keep maximum rainfall totals to under 5 inches and thus limit (but not eliminate) flooding problems. With the potential for wind and rain, power outages will be a concern as well.

A shift in track back to the west could result in tropical storm force winds and torrential rains over the metro area, along with a tidal flooding threat.

Track Hanna and other tropical systems with the interactive map below.

Powered by hurricane-tracking software from Stormpulse.com. 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 Dan Stillman  | September 3, 2008; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Next: PM Update: Heat Continues Ahead of Hanna

Comments

Judging from the weather.com's IR Satellite image, [whose's satellite is it anyway?], it appears that Gustav may arrive here BEFORE Hannah does. So my money is on Gustave,

-- based on whose Low Pressure Center arrives in, or nearest, D.C. first.

Posted by: Leo Chen | September 3, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The 2pm advisory is out on the Noaa.gov site , and it's projected movement is further off the coast. If this keeps up, we won't see much at all.

Posted by: Jerrod | September 3, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Leo -- Gustav should track well west of D.C., through the Midwest and then the Great Lakes, having little direct effect on us.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | September 3, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Jerrod, there are no track changes (other than starting location) in the intermediate advisories, so the track is the same as 11a.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 3, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ian. Now that I look at it instead of quickly glance at it. I see what you are talking about (I was looking at the dotted line and noticed the movemnt) if only we could go by the dotted line :)

Posted by: Jerrod | September 3, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

That's good news for me. I have a 100 mile bike ride scheduled for Saturday in Thurmont/Antietan/Gettysburg (the Civil War Century.) I sure hope it stays eastward!

Posted by: Jim F | September 3, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

As mentioned by Dan, landfall of Hanna has been delayed in the official forecasts from Friday evening to Saturday morning. Should Hanna again slow it's approach, it may be the process transitioning to an extratropical cyclone at it interacts with the approaching frontal system from the west. If this occurs, history indicates that all bets are off now through at least Saturday as to prospective effects locally in regard to rainfall distribution and winds.

see: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2008/07/when_storms_go_extratropical.html#more

Posted by: Steve Tracton | September 3, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

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