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NASA and NOAA satellites have been providing forecasters with a continual stream of data and images as Hermine strengthened into a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, made landfall in northern Florida’s Gulf coast and moved into Georgia. On Sept. 1 at 12:25 p.m. EDT (1625 UTC) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of Hermine as it was strengthening into a hurricane and headed toward the Florida coast for landfall. Hermine was officially designated a hurricane at 2:55 p.m. EDT by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC).
At 2 a.m. EDT Hurricane Hermine made landfall near Saint Marks, Florida with 80 mph winds. By 3 a.m. EDT NOAA’s National Hurricane Center reported that during 2 a.m. EDT to 3 p.m. EDT hour, an automated station at Keaton Beach, Florida, reported a sustained wind of 52 mph (83 kph) and a gust to 67 mph (107 kph), and a gust to 55 mph (89 kph) was reported at Perry, Florida.
The NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland compiled visible and infrared imagery from NOAA’s GOES-East satellite from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 into an animation. The animation showed the development of Hermine into a hurricane during the afternoon (EDT) of Sept. 1, and landfall in Florida’s Big Bend around 2 a.m. EDT on Sept. 2. The animation also shows Hermine’s movement into Georgia where it weakened to a tropical storm. NOAA manages the GOES series of satellites, and the NASA/NOAA Project creates images and animations from the satellite data.
At 8 a.m. EDT NOAA’s NHC had a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for Englewood to Ochlockonee River, Flagler/Volusia County line to Duck and the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds in Virginia. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from north of Duck to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, the Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward and the southern Delaware Bay.
At 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Hermine was located inland over southern Georgia near 31.2 degrees north latitude and 82.9 degrees west longitude. That’s about 35 miles (60 km) northeast of Valdosta, Georgia, and 120 miles (190 km) west-southwest of Savannah, Georgia.
Hermine is moving toward the north-northeast near 14 mph (22 kph) and this motion is expected to continue today and Saturday, Sept. 3. On the forecast track, the center of
Hermine will continue to move across southeastern Georgia today, move across the coastal Carolinas tonight and move offshore of the North Carolina coast on Saturday.
The NHC said that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 60 mph (95 kph) with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast while the center of Hermine remains over land. Some re-strengthening is expected after the center moves offshore of the North Carolina coast on Saturday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center. Recently reported wind gusts include 46 mph (74 kph) at Brunswick, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida. The estimated minimum central pressure is 987 millibars.
Hermine is expected to drop large rainfall totals in its path, create flooding along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from storm surge, tropical-storm force winds, and isolated tornadoes.
The NHC forecast calls for storm total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over the southeastern United States from northwest Florida through southern and eastern Georgia into South Carolina and eastern North Carolina, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. These rains may cause life-threatening floods and flash floods. Heavy rain could reach the coastal Mid-Atlantic States from Virginia to New Jersey beginning early Saturday.