Hurricane Bill is strengthening in the Atlantic and could give the coast of New England a glancing blow this weekend, while Ana, which has lost much of its power since Monday, could still reform in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

On Monday Ana was a Tropical Storm, carrying maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and dumping heavy rains on Puerto Rico (see Daily GPI, Aug. 18). By 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday disorganized showers and thunderstorms, all that remained of Ana, extended from near Jamaica across eastern Cuba to the Bahamas, according to the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center (NHC). The system was moving west at 20-25 mph and was forecast to spread across the rest of Cuba, the Bahamas and southern Florida over the next day or so. The system “shows no signs of regeneration at this time” and there is less than a 30% chance it will return to tropical cyclone status during the next two days, NHC said.

But other forecasters warned that Ana could regain power in the eastern GOM later this week. According to, the greatest potential for redevelopment will be over the eastern and central GOM or the Florida Straits.

“Intense, gusty, drenching thunderstorms will pound Cuba, nearby islands and south Florida over the next couple of days due to Ana’s influence. These monster storms will bring the risks of torrential rainfall, flooding and mudslides,” said.

At 5 p.m. EDT, NHC said Bill, at that point a Category Two hurricane, was “approaching major hurricane status,” with maximum sustained winds up to nearly 110 mph with higher gusts and strengthening expected over the next 48 hours. “Bill is expected to become a major hurricane tonight or Wednesday,” NHC said late Tuesday afternoon.

The eye of the hurricane was about 635 miles east of the Leeward Islands and the hurricane was moving west-northwest at about 16 mph. NHC said it expected Bill to continue moving west-northwest through Tuesday night and turn toward the northwest on Wednesday. The storm was forecast to pass well northeast of the northern Leeward Islands late Wednesday and early Thursday. NHC’s five day track forecast showed the hurricane passing just to the East of Bermuda on Saturday. By Sunday, Bill could be affecting conditions on the New England coast and in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward from the storm’s center as far as 45 miles, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward as much as 175 miles, NHC said.

The Tennessee and Ohio valleys were forecast to experience strong thunderstorms and heavy rain as the remnants of Tropical Storm Claudette passed over the nation’s midsection Tuesday and Wednesday. Claudette, which was upgraded from a tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday afternoon, became the first tropical storm to hit the U.S. mainland this year when it made landfall near Santa Rosa Island, FL, about 30 miles east of the Alabama border, on Monday, according to NHC. Claudette quickly weakened to a tropical depression and moved northwest over southern Alabama.

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