The National Hurricane Center in Miami is currently tracking three tropical storms. Claudette has already made landfall on the Florida Panhandle. Ana, a tropical depression, is in the middle of the Caribbean. Neither storm appears to present a serious threat for the moment.
However, Tropical Storm Bill is “now a hurricane, the first of the 2009 Atlantic season,” according to the NHC’s latest bulletin, released at 5:00 a.m. this morning.
The NHC said the new hurricane’s center is presently about 1160 miles (1870 kms.) east of the Lesser Antilles.
“Bill is moving quickly toward the west-northwest near 22 mph, 35 km/hr, and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 to 48 hours,” said the bulletin.
“Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph, 120 km/hr. Strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, and Bill could become a major hurricane [Category 3, or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale] by Wednesday.”
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 miles, 45 kms. From the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 145 miles, 230 kms. “Estimated minimum central pressure is 987 mb…29.15 inches,” the bulletin concluded.
Source: National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov
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