T.S. Claudette nears Florida Panhandle

| August 16, 2009

Chris Dolce, Lead Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
Aug. 16, 2009 5:41 pm ET


An area of low pressure off of Florida's West Coast that became Tropical Depression Four early this morning has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Claudette.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Claudette was located about 40 miles wet-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida. The system is forecast to make landfall this evening.

Tropical storm warnings extend from the Alabama/Florida border eastward to the Suwannee River, Florida.

Gusty winds and heavy rain, which may trigger some flash flooding, are the main threats. Three to six inches are possible in the Florida Panhandle and adjacent portions of southern Alabama. Locally heavier amounts are possible especially along and just east of where the center of circulation tracks.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, there are one tropical depression and one tropical storm: Ana and Bill.

Now Tropical Depression Ana (35 mile per hour winds) and is located 170 miles east of Dominica in the northern Leeward Islands.

Ana is struggling in a dry environment at this time as it races westward. The forecast is for Ana remain a tropical depression as it heads through the Leeward Islands and toward Puerto Rico. In fact, Ana could remain a tropical depression through most all of its journey through the northern Caribbean.

In the short term, expect increased rain and some gusty winds over portions of the northeast Caribbean Islands through Monday.

Tropical storm watches are in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the rest of the northern Leeward Islands.

Tropical Storm Bill became the 2nd named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season on Saturday, forming in the Eastern Atlantic east of Tropical Storm Ana. Bill is currently located about 1440 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, and has top sustained winds near 65 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Bill is forecast to move west-northwest through the open tropical Atlantic over the next few days while steadily gaining strength. If fact, Bill may be a major hurricane (category three or higher) by midweek.

The current forecast track calls for Bill to miss the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico to the north. However, these areas should still monitor this systems progress over the next several days due to the uncertainty in forecasts farther out in time.


Guillermo rapidly strengthened overnight Friday night into early Saturday and became a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph near the center of circulation. Guillermo has now weakened some back to a Category 1 with 85 mph top winds.

It is located 995 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii, while continuing to move west-northwest.

Environmental conditions are forecast to become less favorable over the next couple of days, and therefore it should soon begin a weakening trend.

Guillermo is not expected to threaten any land.

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