Bill barrels on as 2009’s first Atlantic hurricane

| 17/08/2009

(CNS): Moving across the Atlantic at around 22 mph Tropical Storm Bill became a hurricane this morning, making it the first of the 2009 hurricane season. The storm was upgraded by the National Hurricane Centre in Miami this morning at 5:00 am AST. With winds of almost 75 mph, the centre of Hurricane Bill was located about 1160 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.  NHC said that Bill’s general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 to 48 hours but is expected to strengthen and become a major hurricane by Wednesday.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the centre but tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 145 miles out. Currently the NHC is predicting a north-west course for Bill keeping the Hurricane in the Atlantic and away from the Caribbean islands.

Ana, the first tropical storm of the season  was again down graded to a tropical depression on Sunday as it moved towards the Dominican Republic later today. NHC said the poorly defined centre of tropical depression Ana was located about 95 miles of St. Croix at 5:00 am AST. Moving toward the west-northwest near 28 mph Ana’s maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph and little change in strength is forecast during the next couple of days and may degenerate into a tropical wave later today.

Meanwhile tropical storm Claudette which popped up in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico on Saturday morning was downgraded to a tropical depression as it made landfall on the Florida panhandle.

 (Readers are reminded that CNS is once again committed to full 24hr coverage of all hurricanes threatening the Cayman Islands for as long as power and technology permits.)


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