Friday, August 21, 2009

Bill moving closer to America, but tracking saefly so far

At the moment, Bill is moving northwestward over the western Atlantic. Though some of the computer models have recently nudged its projected track a little closer to North America, a strong midlatitude low-pressure system migrating southeastward from Canada into the Ohio Valley will reach the East Coast in 3-4 days. This system is expected to strengthen winds from the southwest along and east of the Appalachians. This air flow should steer the storm itself safely away from the Lower 48.

Talk about a well-placed track, at least for now. The center of Hurricane Bill, a Category 3 storm currently about 645 miles south of Bermuda, is on course to track well west of Bermuda and well east of most of the U.S. East Coast.

Still, since Bill is a large tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds (74 mph or higher) extending outward roughly 105 miles from its center and tropical storm-force winds (39-73 mph) out to about 260 miles, Bermuda could easily see tropical storm-force winds and is under a Hurricane Watch. In addition, the Bahamas, Bermuda and most of the East Coast, including the mid-Atlantic this weekend, will likely experience "extremely dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents," according to the National Hurricane Center.

At this time, it appears Bill's most significant impact on the U.S. will be the agitation of the coastal waters.
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