Tim Ballisty, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
2:19 p.m. ET 9/5/2008

Tropical Storm Hanna is close to a Category 1 hurricane status. It is spinning just east of the central Florida coast producing squalls of heavy rain, tropical storm-force gusts, and the occasional tornado from Florida to North Carolina.

Category 3 Hurricane Ike needs to be monitored closely though in the Bahamas to southern Florida for possible impacts Sunday Night into Tuesday.

Josephine, a tropical storm in the eastern Atlantic remains a fairly weak tropical storm and is no threat to land.

Watch the latest hurricane forecast.

Tropical Storm Hanna

At 2 p.m. EDT, Hanna was located 310 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and is moving to the northwest at a quick pace of 20 mph.

Hanna has been able to fight off upper-level wind shear and ambient dry air. Thunderstorms have been igniting over the center of circulation for the past 12 hours or so; showing signs of organization. Because of these developments, maximum sustained winds have been increased to 70 mph.

View the Hanna Tracker.

Even though Hanna remains offshore, its influence along the Southeast coast is already being felt.

Rotating bands of heavy rain and gusty winds are spinning along the shores of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Occasional tornadoes are also being spawned by Hanna especially along the North Carolina and South Carolina coast.

There are extensive watches and warnings in place along the East Coast that stretch as far north as Long Island.

You can view the current hurricane watches and warnings and tropical storm watches and warnings here.

It is important to note that one should not focus solely on the center of circulation. Impacts such as tropical storm-force gusts, tropical downpours, and very choppy surf will be felt hundreds of miles away from the center of Hanna. As mentioned before, Hanna impacts are already being felt even with the tropical storm still well offshore.

With that being said, the center of Hanna is projected to make landfall along the South Carolina coast some time late tonight or early Saturday morning.

View the latest projected path here.

After landfall, Hanna will quickly spread rain and breezy conditions up the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast through Saturday; impacting several major cities including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. However, due its rapid forward speed, the storm will not linger. Hanna will be exiting off the New England coast by as early as mid-morning Sunday.

Thankfully, rainfall totals will not come close to what we have seen with Fay or Gustav. However, flooding will still be a cause for concern. Flood watches are posted from eastern Virginia northward to the lower Hudson Valley of New York in preparation for rainfall totals of anywhere from 2-5 inches with some local spots picking up more than 6 inches.

View the rain forecast for the East Coast.