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Tropical Storm Nana expected to hit Belize at hurricane strength, NHC says

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Tropical Storm Nana is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by the time it reaches the coast of Belize late Wednesday or early Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The NHC’s forecast track projects that Nana will pass north of the coast of Honduras on Wednesday. before making landfall on the coast of Belize.

Nana is expected to hit Belize as a Category 1 hurricane, and wind shear is expected to limit its intensity, according to a forecast discussion.

Nana, the season’s 14th tropical storm, formed Tuesday about 120 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica. If it becomes a hurricane, it would be the fifth of the busy 2020 Atlantic season.

As of 2 p.m., Nana was about 110 miles east-northeast of Isla Roatan, Honduras, and about 215 east of Belize City, moving west at 16 mph with top winds of 60. A Category 1 hurricane forms when sustained winds are in the range of 74 to 95 mph.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from Nana’s center, according to the advisory.

The entire coast of Belize is under a hurricane warning and a hurricane watch. Northern Honduras and coastal Guatemala are under a tropical storm watch and the southern Yucatan Peninsula is under a tropical storm warning.

There have been four hurricanes so far this season: Hanna, Isais, Laura and Marco.

Laura was the season’s first major hurricane, making landfall in Cameron, La., as a Category 4 on Aug. 27. Hanna, Isias and Marco were Category 1 hurricanes that made landfall in Padre Island, Texas; Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.; and at the mouth of the Mississippi River, respectively.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Omar has encountered storm-weakening, upper-level winds over the open Atlantic that are diminishing the storm.

Omar, the season’s 15th tropical storm, formed about 225 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., on Tuesday, about five hours after Nana, according to the NHC.

Tropical Storm Omar was about 315 miles north-northwest of Bermuda, the NHC said Wednesday in its 11 a.m. advisory. It was moving east at 14 mph, with 40 mph winds and higher gusts. It is not expected to strengthen much and it is likely to significantly weaken throughout the day on Thursday, becoming a remnant low by Thursday night, the NHC said in its outlook.

The system is expected to continue its curve away from land, moving in a northeast to eastward motion off the U.S. East Coast.

An area of the Atlantic midway between the Windward Islands and the west coast of Africa is bustling with activity from two tropical waves. One is an area of low pressure with showers and thunderstorms that is slowly becoming better organized, the hurricane center said.

The other is expected to move off the coast of Africa on Wednesday and merge with a disturbance a couple hundred miles southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands, the hurricane center said. If and when the disturbances merge, the system will develop and could become a tropical depression by the weekend as it moves slowly westward over the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean.

This is the time of year when storms tend to form in the open Atlantic, particularly near the Cabo Verde Islands. Those storms, which grow in size and intensity as they make the long trek westward across the Atlantic Ocean, are historically the most powerful and destructive hurricanes.

The remaining monikers for named storms this season in the Atlantic are: Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

In August, the federal government issued an updated forecast for the season, predicting as many as 25 storms, which is more than the agency has ever forecast. The tropical weather experts at Colorado State University predicted that 2020 could possibly be the second-busiest season on record, behind only 2005, the year that produced Katrina and Wilma.

 

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