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September 2, 2008

Hanna already touching SE beaches

Wave action spawned by Tropical Storm Hanna is already affecting Maryland beaches and those to our south. The National Weather Service has posted a Hazardous Weather Outlook noting "High Rip Current Risk" on the beaches (green on the map) from today right through the weekend.

NOAAOnce-hurricane Hanna has been downgraded tropical storm status as she wobbles around between the Bahamas and Hispaniola. Those folks are getting a ton of rain and face high risks of flooding and mud slides.

There is growing uncertainty at the National Hurricane Center about whether this faltering Hanna can regain her hurricane intensity after being pummeled by wind shear for several days. Here's a bit of the discussion this morning:

"In about 24 hours, global models show the shear weakening, and this could allow Hanna to restrengthen. However, given the present lack of organization, it is difficult to know how much strengthening is possible. The new official forecast is lower than the previous advisory, but shows Hanna becoming a Cat. 1 hurricane in about 36 hours. It should be noted that this is a low confidence forecast. In fact, if one consults the wind speed probability product included in this package, it can be seen that there is nearly an equal probability of Hanna being a tropical storm or hurricane at Day 3."

That is, just before landfall.

The biggest concern for the mainland U.S. is the forecast track, which takes her up the coast off Florida this week, with landfall somewhere in Georgia or the Carolinas. That will likely mean we're facing a weekend of heavy rain, brisk winds and perhaps some risk of coastal storm surge flooding, depending on the storm's final path. With enough rain, we could also see some inland flooding as well, although the creeks are low and there's more than the usual capacity for runoff. At the very least, we need to start thinking of wet basements and the health of our sump pumps.

More immediate, though, is the danger of rip currents. has already reported one drowning south of Kure Beach, N.C. And lifeguards at Wrightsville Beach made 27 rescues on Labor Day as the powerful rip currents got some unwary swimmers into trouble.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:13 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Hurricanes

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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