Wednesday, October 15, 2008

2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season Remains Active

The Atlantic hurricane season remains active with Hurricane Omar set to lash the eastern Caribbean over the next couple of days, and Tropical Depression Sixteen hugging the coast of Honduras.

Omar strengthened late on Tuesday and became the seventh hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic season, drenching islands in the south-eastern Caribbean. At 0900 GMT on Wednesday, Hurricane Omar was located some 285 miles (455 km) south-southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Omar is currently a Category 1 hurricane with winds blowing 75mph (120 km/h) and is forecast to move on a north-easterly track. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued hurricane warnings for several of the eastern Caribbean islands, including the US Virgin Islands.

So far, 2008 is in joint 8th place for the most number of Atlantic tropical storms in a season. However, records may be ambiguous as prior to the satellite era there is a chance some storms may have been missed. Another storm may develop over the next 24 hours.

Tropical Depression Sixteen is currently lying just off the coast of Honduras and could intensify into a tropical storm. If so it would become the 16th storm of the season. A tropical storm warning is in effect for whole coast of Honduras, from the Nicaraguan to the Guatemala borders. While winds may not be particularly damaging, Tropical Depression Sixteen could bring as much as 380mm (15 inches) of rain.

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