HURRICANE: Ana heads toward Florida, another storm to follow

By Lisa Zahner6 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15ATLANTIC OCEAN — Tropical Storm Ana, formerly known as TD Two, is the first named storm of the 2009 hurricane season and the 5-day track has it heading straight for Florida sometime Thursday.The system was upgraded to a tropical depression at the midnight advisory and then to a tropical storm at the 5 a.m. advisory, as a result of data collected by the NOAA Hurricane Hunters overnight. At 5 a.m. Saturday, Ana was located near latitude 14.6 north and longitude 46.8 west, with sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts to 50 mph. The storm is moving in a westward direction at 16 mph and has a pressure of 1005 millibars (29.67 inches).Indian River County is within the center of the cone of the 5-day forecast map. Click on image to enlarge.Ana has been given a high chance of strengthening in the next 48 hours and is expected to have winds of about 60 mph by Thursday. Some models show Ana becoming a Category 1 hurricane, but others track the system as remaining a tropical storm.The islands in Ana’s path have been advised to monitor the situation closely and to begin preparing to take protective action against tropical storm force winds, if necessary. Tropical storm warnings may be issued for portions of the Leeward Islands later today.Right behind Ana is the potential monster storm of great interst to meteorologists, now being called Invest 90, which has been predicted by some models to become a Category 3 hurricane by Wednesday or Thursday, with estimated winds exceeding 110 mph. At that point, the storm would still be a few days away from the Florida coastline and would be moving over very warm waters. Invest 90 is expected to be upgraded to at least a depression, possibly a tropical storm, this weekend. It currently has sustained winds of 35 mph, with higher gusts. Invest 90 is being given a high chance of intensifying in the next 48 hours. Though Invest 90 is still more than a week away, computer models are in fair agreement that the storm would track toward the U.S. mainland.Though one or both of these storms may dissipate or take a track to the north or south, this would be a good time for Indian River County residents to review their household and business disaster plans and to take an inventory of supplies. The Indian River County Emergency Operations Center recommends that throughout hurricane season, residents have at least three days of non-perishable food and water per person on hand, in addition to three days of pet food and any needed prescriptions. One gallon of water per person or pet per day is recommended for drinking, plus extra water for bathing, brushing teeth or flushing toilets in the event that water service is interrupted or if you are on a well-septic system which depends upon electricity to operate.To download the County’s disaster preparedness booklet, go to The booklet has all the needed inforamtion regarding preparing for a storm, stocking a hurricane kit, evacuation routes and shelter information.The next advisory will be issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami at 11 a.m.

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