Tropical Storm Hanna heads for Mid-Atlantic

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The National Hurricane Center this morning issued a tropical storm warning for Hanna that extends from Altamaha, Ga., north to Sandy Hook, N.J.

At 8 a.m., the center of the storm was located about 115 miles east of Melbourne, Fla., and about 425 miles south of Wilmington, N.C. Hanna is moving northwest near 18 mph, and a gradual turn to the north, with an increase in forward speed, is expected later today.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate maximum sustained winds near 65 mph, with higher gusts. Only slight strengthening is forecast prior to landfall, although Hanna still could become a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center reports.

The storm is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 4 to 6 inches from South Carolina to southeastern Virginia. Isolated amounts of 10 inches are possible. Heavy rainfall will spread northeastward through the Mid-Atlantic, southern New York and into southern New England late Friday into Saturday.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center is tracking Hurricane Ike, a Category 3 storm, as it moves toward the Bahamas.

At 5 a.m., the storm’s eye was about 460 miles north of the Leeward Islands and about 660 miles east-northeast of Grand Turk Island. Ike is moving west at 15 mph.

A slight turn toward the west-southwest is forecast for tonight or early Saturday, with a turn back to the west expected by Sunday. On this track, Ike could be near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas Sunday.

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