I’m sitting here with a terrible case of selective writers’ block. I can write stream of consciousness in the blog all day long — which is what this is — but I’m struggling to write a movie review for my editing class. It’s due Wednesday but this is the only time I really have anything resembling energy for homework, which is surprising considering the emotional rollercoaster the NFL has been for the first two weeks. (I don’t want to say much about Week 2 beyond “the Cardiac Cats are BACK!” and “isn’t robbery illegal in Colorado?”)
After Tropical Storm Hanna gave us some much-needed rain Friday, it turned northeast and hit hyperspeed and has made conditions quite interesting going up the Eastern seaboard, dumping a lot of rain and causing some brief flooding issues from North Carolina up into New Hampshire. It’s lost tropical characteristics now, and the Hurricane Center has issued the final advisory for Hanna, which will go down as a reasonably bizarre, devil of a storm to try to predict.
Despite rumors to the contrary, Hanna actually did have some winds. Francis Shepherd had some videos of some of Hanna’s wind and rain from Deltaville, VA on Saturday morning. While the winds didn’t seem too exceptionally strong in those videos, that’s certainly more than I saw from my humble abode in West Ashley.
Hurricane Ike lashed a Hanna-ravaged Turks and Caicos Islands and is going to give the Bahamas quite a ride today before it slams into Cuba, likely maintaining Category 4 strength throughout. Evacuations have been underway in the Florida Keys for the last day or two; first, tourists were asked to leave, and now residents are being evacuated as the Keys are under a hurricane watch. They likely won’t see the brunt of Ike’s fury, but even Category 2 winds can cause severe problems on the Keys.
From there, it’s anybody’s guess where Ike will end up. Here’s the path, which could point it anywhere from south of Texas to just to the west of Pensacola.
The forecast has Ike taking a beating from Cuba, but eventually getting it back together in the Gulf and becoming a Category 3 again. Ike’s got folks along the Gulf Coast worried, and rightfully so; this could be a force to be reckoned with through this week. A lot of the folks I followed for Gustav are watching Ike extremely closely, and making preparations now just in case. While it shouldn’t affect us in the Carolinas, thankfully, we’ll be watching the Gulf Coast closely, hoping folks there get out of harm’s way.
Hanna’s starting to lift northward of Charleston. The 11PM fix put it roughly about 60 miles east-southeast of Charleston, and I’m willing to bet it’s pulled even or even slightly north of Charleston now, based on some of the radar I’ve been looking at. The advisory also says that it’s moving north at 20; however, I’m seeing strong indications that the turn to the northeast has begun and is now moving in that direction. Landfall is expected just north of Myrtle Beach within the next few hours.
The advisory canceled the tropical storm warning south of Edisto; I could see this being whittled back even further as time goes on. The Hurricane Watch for our area was also discontinued. There’s a chance Hanna could still become a hurricane — it’s been trying to form an eyewall for the past couple hours, and the pressure is as low as you’ll ever see for a tropical storm — but shear is and dry air are giving it one hell of a fight.
Hanna’s dropped plenty of beneficial rain on the Charleston area. The usual spate of flooding has happened; but this happens whenever it rains normally, much less when a tropical system swings through.
I’ll be interested to hear what comes of the postmortem from Hanna. This has been one heck of a storm for many reasons, whether it be its odd track deviations or its odd strengthening habits. It’s been a great learning experience, as well.
I probably won’t be awake for landfall. Here’s hoping that folks in Myrtle Beach and throughout North Carolina come through alright; I suspect things will be okay, though. This storm’s moving incredibly quickly, so widespread flooding won’t be a major issue, and the winds probably won’t get past Category 1, much less tropical storm force.
For now, this will sign off the advisory-by-advisory posting for the Charleston area for Hanna. I’ve made this official by cracking a beer.
I’ll have a recap of Hanna sometime tomorrow or Sunday; right now, I need rest before coverage ramps up for Ike, which is a damn dangerous, scary, and beautiful storm.
Hanna’s looking rough this morning. It’s back down to 65 MPH winds, and there’s a lot of speculation that Hanna is becoming extratropical. NHC acknowledges Hanna’s struggle to remain tropical in the discussion:
VERY DRY AIR ASSOCIATED WITH THE UPPER-LEVEL LOW OVER THE
NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS IS CHOKING OFF CONVECTION NEAR THE CORE OF
HANNA…AND THE CYCLONE HAS A VERY SUBTROPICAL APPEARANCE.
CONVECTION HAS DIMINISHED SUBSTANTIALLY OVER THE PAST 6-12 HOURS
AND THE HIGHEST FLIGHT-LEVEL AND SFMR WINDS HAVE COME DOWN AS WELL.
BASED ON SOME 52 KT SFMR WINDS AROUND 11Z…THE INITIAL INTENSITY
IS LOWERED TO 55 KT.
Here’s the latest track, which returns more to the rightward path that we started seeing emerge during the day yesterday before the 11:00 came out:
The wind field is still pretty broad — 310 miles, to be exact — but largely to the north and northeast. We in Charleston still stand a decent chance of seeing tropical storm force winds for a time, and some rain, but with the dry air influencing the storm as well as the continued rightward bias in the models, impacts along our coast will be lessened.
News 2 reports that Gov. Mark Sanford has called for voluntary evacuations of Horry and Georgetown counties; he also said that Hanna might be a “dress rehearsal for a thing called Ike.” Ike is bothersome to me; I’m crunched for time now but will have more later on.
Tonight’s briefing started with a recap of Gustav and its impacts in Louisiana. We then moved along to Hanna; the 5PM track continues to take the storm in at the GA/SC border and up the gut of SC, and could potentially bring hurricane force winds to Charleston by Friday. Also, I took a quick look at Ike and yet another area under investigation out in the Atlantic, Invest 99.
I’ll have a full post with the next full advisory at 11PM.