Sept. 4, 2004 It looks like Tropical Storm Ivan won't become Ivan the Terrible for V. I. residents, but as of 5 p.m. Saturday the territory remained in what forecasters refer to as the cone of uncertainty. This means if the storm wobbles a bit, the territory could see storm conditions.
"We're looking at five days out. The margin of error is extreme at this point," said meteorologist Ed Tirado at the National Weather Service in San Juan.
He said the current forecast has Tropical Storm Ivan passing about 150 miles south of the Virgin Islands on Wednesday into Thursday. Forecasters expect it to be a Category 2 hurricane by that point.
Tirado said hurricanes that track to the south rather than to the north of the Virgin Islands are the ones most prone to cause problems. He said that those that are north of the territory don't usually dip southward, but those to the south often veer northwest toward the Virgin Islands.
Tropical Storm Ivan was at 5 p.m. centered at 9.1 degrees north latitude and 40.8 degrees west longitude. This puts it about 1,450 miles east of the Lesser Antilles
Winds are 60 mph with gusts to 70 mph. The storm is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by Sunday.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward 115 miles from the storm's center. Tropical Storm Ivan is moving west at 19 mph. The pressure stands at 994 millibars or 29.34 inches.
Tirado warned residents to pay attention, especially since they're in the midst of the long Labor Day weekend. He said they could get up on Tuesday to find they're facing a hurricane.
As for the good news, Tirado said there are currently no tropical waves behind Tropical Storm Ivan.
However, hurricane season has a long way to run. It doesn't end until Nov. 30. And, the two most disastrous hurricanes to strike in recent history, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Marilyn in 1995, both came in mid-September.
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