Tropical storm Hanna is fixing to drench the eastern U.S. this weekend, and with an even bigger tempest, Ike, in her wake, this month is shaping up as the stormy September predicted by atmospheric scientists.
Hanna will be a Category 1 hurricane when she hits Georgia around 8 tonight, according to AccuWeather. If the storm's forecasted route holds, the hurricane will reach the Carolinas by tomorrow morning and the Mid-Atlantic region and New England by Sunday.
Ike, following close behind, is expected to pack an even stronger punch than Hanna. Already a Category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic, Ike is expected to blow into Florida by Wednesday morning; at that point, AccuWeather says, it may have lost some of its gusto and become a Category 2 tempest.
The weakest hurricanes (Category 1) bring winds of 74-to-95 miles per hour (119-to-153 kilometers per hour). Category 2 hurricanes are those with winds traveling at 96-to-110 miles per hour (154-to-177 kilometers per hour), and Category 3 storms have gales that whip around 111-to-130 miles per hour (178-to-209 miles per hour). For more detail on hurricane classifications click here.
Hurricane forecasters expect five named tropical storms – two Category 3 hurricanes – to touch down in the U.S. this month. We explain what makes them so destructive -- and the relationship between climate change and storm patterns in a special package.
(Image of Hanna by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)