The National Hurricane Center has put the U.S. coast on alert from North Carolina northward, as Hurricane Noel keeps growing in size. The storm reached Category 1 hurricane strength overnight as it passed The Bahamas, which are still under a gale-force wind watch.
Once forecast to barely brush Southeast Florida as a tropical storm and run parallel to the East Coast, the storm now has a chance of reaching hurricane strength, and bringing tropical storm-force winds to a large swath of the U.S. coastline in the coming days.
The forecast calls for as little as one, or as much as six inches of rain along the East Coast, with the higher totals coming to New England.
Noel is the 14th named storm of the season, and at least* the fifth hurricane. The traditional Atlantic hurricane season is nearing its end, but some storms have formed as late as January. The season has reached predicted levels of named storms (13-16 predicted by federal forecast) but not in total hurricanes (7-9) or major hurricanes (3-5).
Here's a map and list of the 2007 Atlantic storms to date:
*Tropical Storm Karen may be upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane in a post-season analysis, based on observations that it briefly reached hurricane strength.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.