As of the 5am advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hanna had winds of 70mph... just 5mph away from a hurricane. Hanna may still encounter some wind shear through the day, so a great deal of strengthening is not expected at this time. However, Hanna is expected to become a hurricane later today or tomorrow as it tracks toward the Carolina coast.
The above track from Hanna from the National Hurricane Center still shows the "cone of uncertainty" still covering much of the South Carolina and North Carolina coast. Based on the latest data, it appears Hanna may make landfall near the North Carolina-South Carolina state line give or take 50-70miles around midnight as we head into Saturday morning.
Hanna is expected to track inland over eastern North Carolina. This would bring the heaviest rains and strongest winds along I -95 and to the east. Rainfall totals of 2-4 inches are expected in that region and along the coast with some isolated areas experiencing the heaviest rains. A few tornadoes may be possible as well along the track of the storm and to the east of the track.
Hanna may arrive at high tide along North Carolina's southeastern beaches which will take place at 12:30am Saturday morning.
Today is the day to prepare for what may be to come late Friday into Saturday. Secure lawn furniture, grills, garbage cans, and other loose items that could easily be blown around by Hanna's winds. Have an emergency kit ready just in case and be prepared for extended power outages for areas that experience the strongest winds from Hanna.
Keep in mind there is still some uncertainty to the exact track of Hanna. A slight jog to the east or to the west could change this forecast. Stay with News 14 Carolina for the most updates on Hanna with the latest available every 10 minutes in Weather on the Ones.
By the way, Hanna isn't the only storm to watch. Ike has strengthened into a powerful category 4 hurricane and will track toward the Bahamas by early next week. There are some signs that Ike may then take a northwest turn. It is way to early to speculate on exactly where Ike is headed, but Ike will be the focus for us once we get rid of Hanna.
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