Hurricane Irene pounds Puerto Rico, heads for Hispaniola

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:40 PM GMT on August 22, 2011

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Hurricane Irene strengthened into the season's first Atlantic hurricane at 5am EDT this morning as the eye moved over San Juan, Puerto Rico, and crossed into the ocean just north of the island. Overnight, Irene held its own as the eye passed over the most mountainous portion of Puerto Rico, the El Yunque region. Winds in the higher mountains likely reached Category 2 strength, 96 - 110 mph, according to measurements from the San Juan Terminal Doppler Radar, and the hurricane pounded the island with damaging winds and flooding rains, resulting in widespread tree damage and power failures that hit 800,000 people. The San Juan Airport recorded top winds of 41 mph, gusting to 55 mph, and 2.87" of rain, as of 9am AST. Tropical storm conditions affected the Virgin Islands, with St. Thomas recording sustained winds of 40 mph, gusting to 67 mph, and 4.03" of rain as of 6am AST today. At 7am EDT, the ship Horizon Trader measured sustained northeast winds of 69 mph and wave heights of 11.5 feet at 19°N, in the northern eyewall of Irene. Latest observations from an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that Irene is slowly intensifying, with a central pressure of 989 mb observed at 9:42am EDT. The eyewall is not fully formed yet, with a gap on the south side. This gap will need to close off before the hurricane can undergo rapid intensification.


Figure 1. A direct hit: the center of Hurricane Irene passed directly over the Terminal Doppler Radar at San Juan, Puerto Rico between 4am and 5am AST this morning.

Track forecast for Irene
The computer models show good agreement that Irene will pass along the north coast of Hispaniola today, but just a slight wobble in Irene's track to take it farther offshore--or push it onshore, over the mountains--will have major impacts on the ultimate path and strength of the hurricane. A trough of low pressure is expected to move across the Eastern U.S. on Wednesday and Thursday, turning Irene more to the northwest by Wednesday. The timing and strength of this trough varies considerably from model to model, and will be critical in determining where and when Irene will turn to the north. Irene's strength will also matter--a stronger Irene is more likely to turn northward earlier. The most popular solution among the models is to take Irene to the northwest through the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday, then into the Southeast U.S. coast in South Carolina or North Carolina on Saturday. Irene would then travel up the mid-Atlantic coast, arriving near Long Island, New York on Monday morning as a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane. One of the models proposing this solution is our best model, the ECMWF. However, we have two other of our very good models suggesting a landfall near Miami on Thursday night is likely (the GFDL and UKMET models.) NHC forecaster Stacy Stewart gave some good reasons in this morning's discussion to favor a track close to the east coast of Florida, but just offshore. Last years' worst performing major the model, the NOGAPS, predicts that Irene will pass out to sea, missing the Southeast U.S. coast. Keep in mind that the average error of a 4-day forecast from NHC is 200 miles, and just a small deviation in the path of a storm moving roughly parallel to the coast will make a huge difference in where it ultimately makes landfall. The NOAA jet will be flying its first dropsonde mission into Irene today, which should result in a more reliable set of model runs first thing Tuesday morning.

Intensity forecast for Irene
Irene is embedded in a large envelope of moisture now, and wind shear is expected to remain low, 5 - 10 knots, for the next five days. With water temperatures very warm, 29 - 30°C, these conditions should allow for intensification except when land is interfering. Satellite loops show that Irene is steadily growing in size, which will protect the storm against major disruption by its passage along the north shore of Hispaniola today. The storm is lacking much development on its southwest side, where dry air is interfering with development. This dry air may help keep southern portions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti from receiving more than 3 - 6 inches of rain. There is at least a 30% chance that passage of the eye over Hispaniola will reduce Irene to a tropical storm tonight and into Tuesday. Due to Hispaniola blocking inflow of moist air from the south, Irene will likely compensate by building an even larger region of heavy thunderstorms to the north, offshore. Thus, when Irene's center finally moves well away from the coast on Tuesday, it will be a bigger storm, with the potential to spread hurricane conditions over a wider area later in the week when it intensifies. One limiting factor for intensification may be in the upper-level outflow pattern. The hurricane is lifting a huge amount of air from the surface to the upper atmosphere, and all that mass has to be efficiently transported away in order for the hurricane to intensify. Right now, upper level outflow is only well-established to the north and east, and the forecast outflow pattern for the coming five days is only moderately favorable. Overall, I think the official NHC forecast of a Category 3 hurricane by Thursday is the right one, though Irene could easily be a Category 2 or Category 4 storm.

Irene's impact on the Dominican Republic
Heavy rains from Irene have already reached the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, where Punta Cana has seen wind gusts up to 29 mph this morning. The northeast coast of the country near Samana will receive the worst of Irene's wrath, with sustained winds of 50 - 70 mph and gusts above hurricane force likely to cause widespread tree damage and power outages today. Passage along the coast of the island may weaken Irene to a tropical storm by Tuesday morning, and wind damage in Puerto Plata may be less severe than at Samana. The capital of Santo Domingo will see lesser winds, perhaps 30 - 50 mph, with gusts to 60 mph. The main danger to the Dominican Republic will be Irene's torrential rains, which are likely to reach 20 inches in some mountainous regions, causing dangerous flash floods and mudslides.

Irene's impact on Haiti
No nation in the Caribbean is more vulnerable to hurricanes than Haiti, whose northern reaches are expected to receive torrential rains of 5 - 10 inches from Irene. During the 2008 hurricane season, four storms--Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike--dumped heavy rains on Haiti, leaving over 1,000 people dead or missing. The path and intensity of Hurricane Irene are very similar to that of Hurricane Jeanne of 2004, which dumped 13 inches of rains on the nation's northern mountains. The rugged hillsides, stripped bare of 98% of their forest cover thanks to deforestation, let flood waters rampage into large areas of the country, killing over 3000 people, mostly in the town of Gonaives, the nation's 4th largest city. Jeanne ranks as the 12th deadliest hurricane of all time on the list of the 30 most deadly Atlantic hurricanes, and Irene's rains are capable of causing a similar disaster. During 2004 and again this year, ocean temperatures off the coast of Haiti were 1 - 1.5°C above average, one of the top five values seen in the past 100 years. Since more water vapor evaporates into the air from record warm waters, the potential for devastating floods from hurricanes is much higher in these situations. However, satellite images of Jeanne show the storm had much more moisture on its south side when it hit Hispaniola than Irene currently has, so I am hopeful that Irene's rains will not be as intense as Jeanne's were.


Figure 2. Track of Hurricane Jeanne of 2004, which followed a path very similar to what is expected from Hurricane Irene along the north coast of Hispaniola. Irene is not going to do a big loop like Jeanne did, though.

As bad as the hurricanes of 2004 and 2008 were, the January 2010 earthquake was far worse. Up to 316,000 may have been killed, and the capital city of Port-Au-Prince was devastated, leaving over 1.5 million people living under tarps during the 2010 hurricane season. Fortunately, Hurricane Tomas missed making a direct hit on Haiti, and Haiti escaped major loss of life during the 2010 hurricane season. This year, approximately 595,000 Haitians still live underneath tarps outdoors thanks to the earthquake, and these unfortunate people will be at risk of being swept away by flash flooding from Irene's torrential rains. However, Port-Au-Prince lies to the south of where Irene's main rains will fall, and I doubt the earthquake refugee camps will suffer from a major flooding disaster.


Figure 3. Hospital admissions (black bars) and death rate in percent (red line) for Haiti's cholera epidemic of 2010 - 2011. The cholera epidemic surged out of control after Hurricane Tomas dumped heavy rains on Haiti on November 4, 2010, with hospitalizations increasing by a factor of three for over a month. Over 3% of all people who contracted cholera died after Tomas' rains. However, sanitation and medical care improved in the following months, and the death rate fell by a factor of five to 0.7% by the summer of 2011. Another surge in cholera cases occurred in June 2011, doubling after heavy rainy season rains occurred. Cholera deaths doubled during the surge, but the death rate remained constant at 0.7%. Image credit: Pan American Health Organization.

Another danger is that Irene's rains will worsen the cholera epidemic that surfaced after the earthquake. Cholera is a water-borne disease, and spreads readily after heavy rains. As of August 12, 2011, the 2010 - 2011 cholera epidemic had infected 419,000 Haitians, killing 5,968. After Hurricane Tomas passed on November 5, 2010, cholera cases exploded, with hospital admissions more than tripling for over a month. Similarly, heavy rains in June 2011 during the country's usual rainy season caused doubled cholera cases and deaths for several weeks. We can expect that Irene's rains will cause at least a doubling of cholera cases for a month or more. This will lead to several hundred additional cholera deaths, given the disease's 0.7% mortality rate this summer in Haiti (during June and July 2011, 95,212 cases were reported, with 626 deaths.) An increase in cholera deaths due to Irene's rains is also a concern in the Dominican Republic, where cholera has sickened 14,000 people and killed 92 as of the end of July.

Organizations Active in Haitian Relief Efforts:
Portlight disaster relief
Lambi Fund of Haiti
Haiti Hope Fund
Catholic Relief Services of Haiti

Links
For those of you wanting to know your odds of receiving hurricane force or tropical storm force winds, I recommend the NHC wind probability product.

Wunderground has detailed storm surge maps for the U.S. coast.

See my 2010 post, Haiti's tragic hurricane history.

An exceptionally active of hurricane season
Hurricane season is only one-third over, and we've already had almost a full years' activity already. Tropical Storm Irene is the 9th named storm this year, and an average season has just 10 - 11 named storms. Irene's formation date of August 20 ties 2011 with 1936 as the 2nd earliest date for formation of the season's 9th storm. Only 2005 was more active this early. However, the first eight storms of the year have done far less damage than is typical. All eight storms stayed below hurricane strength, making 2011 the first hurricane season since record keeping began in 1851 to have more than six consecutive tropical storms that did not reach hurricane strength. As I discussed in Friday's post, a major reason for this is the lack of vertical instability over the tropical Atlantic so far this year. We've had a large amount of dry, sinking air over the tropical Atlantic, and the usual amount of dry, dusty air from the Sahara, both helping to keep the atmosphere stable and stop this year's storms from intensifying into hurricanes. Hurricane activity typically ramps up big-time by August 20, with more than 80% of all the hurricanes and 65% of all the tropical storms occurring after that date. At our current pace, 2011 will become the second busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record, with 24 - 27 named storms. There are only 21 names in the list of names for a hurricane season, so we may have to break out the Greek alphabet again in late October this year, as occurred in 2005. Ironically, this was the last time the current set of names was used in the Atlantic, so 16 of this year's 21 names are repeats of 2005. I'm not too happy about seeing another hurricane season challenge the Hurricane Season of 2005 in any way, and let's hope we don't retire another five names this year, like occurred in 2005! With vertical instability much lower this year than in 2005, and that year having already seen one storm (Dennis) retired by this point in the season, I doubt that will happen, though.


Figure 4. The annual cycle of average hurricane frequency in the Atlantic. Historically, about 35% of all the tropical storms and 15% of all the hurricanes will have occurred by August 20.

Which model should you trust?
Wunderground provides a web page with computer model forecasts for many of the best-performing models used to predict hurricane tracks. So which is the best? Well, the best forecasts are made by combining the forecasts from three or more models into a "consensus" forecast. Over the past decade, NHC has greatly improved their forecasts by relying on consensus forecast models made using various combinations of the GFS, GFDL, NOGAPS, UKMET, HWRF, and ECMWF models. If you average together the track forecasts from these models, the NHC official forecast will rarely depart much from it, and the NHC forecast has been hard to beat over the past few years. The single best-performing model over the past two years has been the ECMWF (European Center model). This model out-performed the official NHC forecast in 2010 for 1-day, 2-day, 3-day and 4-day forecasts, and in 2009 for 4-day and 5-day forecasts. You can view ECMWF forecasts on our wundermap with the model layer turned on. The European Center does not permit public display of tropical storm positions from their hurricane tracking module of their model, so we are unable to put ECMWF forecasts on our computer model forecast page that plots positions from the other major models. As seen in Figure 5, over the past two years, the GFS and GFDL model have been the next best models, with the UKMET model not far behind. Last year, the NOGAPS model did very poorly, forcing NHC to come up with some new consensus models this year, the TCOA and TVCA, that do not include the NOGAPS model. For those interested in learning more about the models, NOAA has a great training video (updated for 2011.)


Figure 5. Skill of computer model forecasts of Atlantic named storms 2010. OFCL=Official NHC forecast; GFS=Global Forecast System model; GFDL=Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory model; HWRF=Hurricane Weather Research Forecasting model; NOGAPS=Navy Operational Global Prediction System model; UKMET=United Kingdom Met Office model; ECMWF=European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting model; TVCN=one of the consensus models that lends together all (or most) of the above models. Image credit: National Hurricane Center 2010 verification report.

Next post
There will be 2 - 3 posts per day in my blog this week during Irene, with Angela Fritz and Rob Carver doing some of the afternoon and evening posts.

Jeff Masters

Tropical Storm Irene hits Puerto Rico (lobdellJ)
Tropical Storm Irene hits the north coast of Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Irene hits Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Irene from Maunabo, PR (ronmil)
The first bands or Irene approaching Maunabo, Puerto Rico (SE corner)...
Tropical Storm Irene from Maunabo, PR
Irene (reefchild)
Irene @OPkB OceanParkBeach Puerto Rico 7pm
Irene

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.LONG TERM (WEDNESDAY NIGHT - MONDAY)...
THE CURRENT FORECAST TRACK OF IRENE HAS LIMITED ITS IMPACTS TO
JUST OUR FAR EASTERN COUNTIES...AND EVEN THEN ONLY SLIGHTLY. THAT
SAID...THERE IS ALWAYS THE CHANCE THAT MODELS SWING BACK WESTWARD...SO
IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS FORECAST PACKAGE RELIES ON
THE OFFICIAL TRACK AND DOES NOT EXPLICITLY SHOW POTENTIAL FOR
INCREASED OR DECREASED WINDS AND RAIN BASED ON A DIFFERENT
FORECAST TRACK.

WITH THIS IN MIND...HAVE DECREASED WIND SPEEDS AND RAIN CHANCES...
BUT IT WILL STILL BE BREEZY OVER THE INTERIOR AS IRENE MAKES ITS
CLOSEST APPROACH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT AND ON FRIDAY. IF THE TRACK
ENDS UP EVEN FARTHER TO THE EAST...WE COULD POTENTIALLY END UP HOT
AND DRY.







The NWS here at Ruskin is doing a great job in handling Irene.
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Quoting petewxwatcher:


That's weakened storms off the north shore of the Dominican Republic before. But by tomorrow afternoon that won't be a factor anymore.


That is true... big question would be then, if that is the case, what implications would that have on the eventual track down the road. I mean, if it disrupts the moist flow into the hurricane, that could induce a slower rate of intensification, or flatline intensification, until it gets past Hispanola. At that time, that it frees itself from that, what would it do as far as track down the road? Closer to FL, or no change (are the models already factoring that into the equation). I guess my point is... it's anyone's guess really.
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I haven't checked much since last night, when the model runs were mostly going for a SC landfall. Have the models had any trend since, continuing shifting eastward or staying about the same?
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Good afternoon everyone.

First time on today and only here for a short while.

Irene is ramping up on the way to major status and could become a large and dangerous hurricane. While the pressure seems to have levelled offf since last night that will probably not last. I noticed outflow boundaries this morning indicative of dry air problems which are probably the result of the core weakening over PR and allowing that air into the system.

Irene should soon mix out any that is left and once that happens look for the pressure to fall later today by a few mbs. The winds will follow after that and if Irene stays far enough offshore Hispaniola it could hit CAT 2 ahead of schedule IMO.

The NHC cone has Cat 2 around 8 tomorrow night at a position fairly far away from that island and I understand the reasoning behind that as well.
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Quoting TampaTom:


Cuban Sandwich and Cafe con leche?


Sir, I beg you. Let's be more considerate with all of us who are on a diet at this time. Comments like this made me gain 10 pounds last week, and got me now salivating all over thinking of that awesome Cuban sandwhich.
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Down here in Lower alabama the temp is 94 feels like 110. It is stifling. On my morning power walk I noticed the the ants seem to be relocating from my swamp which has been dry to my back yard I counted 8 new big hills. Have also noticed ant scouts in my house. I do not want any canes! I stayed for Fredrick (never again) left for Ivan (glad I did..56k in damages from wind to a brick house 20m inland) We have had our share tyvm.

Ps.. hope the ants were just tired of there old digs
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1281. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Can't believe people are calling this fish.. WHEN it has already hit a place. Right now, the NHC has a major hitting the USA. It might shift, it might not. Do NOT FOCUS ON THE MODELS WHENEVER THEY CHANGE! that is key, as the other day they where hitting Florida. They could EASILY shift back. This to me though, judging by its current direction, location has a historically good chance to hit the USA alone. Its all about timing.




MODELS ARE MEANT TO BE USED FOR GUIDANCE PURPOSES ONLY AND DONOT DEPICT FINAL OUTCOME TO ANY ONE SINGLE EVENT THINGS CAN AND WILL CHANGE

MODEL GUIDANCE IS OFF BY 250 MILES LEFT OR RIGHT OF A FORECASTED POINT 5 DAYS OUT OR MORE

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wonderful... I live near I-40, so why not drive over there and see how people leaving Wilmington near Garner/Clayton. Maybe even go to I-40/I-95 near Benson...
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Quoting Contrarian:
Where is the Wind???

According to cumulative wind history, "hurricane" Irene is not a hurricane. Also, most of the wind measurements in Puerto Rico were not even close to hurricane strength.

So either nearly all the wind measurements are wrong, or the people declaring Irene a hurricane are wrong.



Looks like yet another model fail in a season full of them.


I'm not sure if your trolling, kidding, sarcastic, or serious.

Majority of the hurricane winds where recorded north of Puerto Rico.

Recon found hurricane force winds, an airplane with instruments.

The National Hurricane center has hurricane on its site.
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1278. LBAR
Could the blob of convection in her NE quadrant rob the core of moisture?
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1277. 7544
so the more the vort expands to the west could have worse effects in so fla ?
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6812
Quoting MississippiWx:


I don't think she's close enough to Hispaniola's most rugged terrain to give her any issues like that. Take the most recent infrared for example. It shows a large blow up of intense cold cloud tops over Irene's center. Land interaction with PR disrupted the core because it was so fragile to begin with being in its development stages. She's starting to overcome that now.



MississippiWx, We need radar with this...lol...but I believe your right. From what Patrap and you have shown, it seems to me that Irene in the midst of developing her first CDO, and from the placement of it....guh I think we will see her up a few knots during tonight.
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ugh
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1274. Speeky
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Can't believe people are calling this fish.. WHEN it has already hit a place. Right now, the NHC has a major hitting the USA. It might shift, it might not. Do NOT FOCUS ON THE MODELS WHENEVER THEY CHANGE! that is key, as the other day they where hitting Florida. They could EASILY shift back. This to me though, judging by its current direction, location has a historically good chance to hit the USA alone. Its all about timing.


Well Said!

Many powerful storms in the past sit along the same path that Irene is on right now.

Suck storms as:

Hurricane Floyd (1999)
Hurricane Gloria (1985)
Hurricane David (1979)
Long Island Express (1938)

I bet if they had sporatic coputer models like we do have today. These storms and many others I didn't note would be called "Fishes" as well
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Irene is big, but she looks like a TS. Does she have her eye anymore?
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1272. hydrus
Quoting 69Viking:


Yeah I love watching water vapor loops, they show just about every kind of spin there is. If you look at the Eastern U.S. Water Vapor you can see that front is only digging as far South as Georgia maybe and that the Texas High is keeping it from pushing back to Florida. Once that Low kicks out to the Northeast we'll be left with the Burmuda High filling back in to meet up the Texas High. I really think landfall of this one is going to be tough to call until it's about a day or two out.
True....Storms are weird...lol
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21239
1271. beell
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


I think it is more to due with the forward speed of the GFDL. Around the 24-48 hour mark it maintains/slightly speeds up while the HWRF slows/maintains forward speed.



Maybe so, nrt. Momentum and all that. Maybe a hint at two different steering regimes here also.

click to enlarge

08/22 GFS 700mb@72 hrs



08/22 GFS 500mb@72 hrs

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Quoting Jax82:
her 850mb vorticity stretches nearly to Jamaica now, hmmm



What exactly does this mean, she's expanding?
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1269. Jax82
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Dry air from foehn winds was a contributing factor to the demise of Hurricane Debby in 2000.

However there were other factors at work in that storm and I don't think that will be enough to hinder Irene much after tomorrow morning.

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1267. cmahan
Quoting RitaEvac:
A loop de loop is not outta the question either, which is why Master's brings up Jeanne in the blog.


"Track of Hurricane Jeanne of 2004, which followed a path very similar to what is expected from Hurricane Irene along the north coast of Hispaniola. Irene is not going to do a big loop like Jeanne did, though."
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1266. Patrap
Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


This amazing model consistency is why I was of the thinking that Irene would actually be a threat to Florida. The crucial change, which the models failed to foresee, was the significant NE center relocation as it was entering the Lesser Antilles and also the decidedly northward component to Irene's movement. This changed the game completely, imo. Of course, if Irene had ended up tracking through/near Hispanola and Cuba, it may have been just a tropical storm upon arrival to S. Florida. This scenario would have probably been best for most (except maybe Hispanola).


"Models failed to see" Yet now everyone is so sure the models arent failing to see anything. What a difference a day makes
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Quoting presslord:


man, that sounds good


I know some places we could meet... get the GOOOD stuff...
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Quoting ElConando:


Bring Jim Cantore with you, you'll have the place to yourself.


Alone? With Jim Cantore? Not!

Don't do it Press! Its a trap!
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Quoting weatherxtreme:
I am thinking this thing will get shifted east again probably by 5pm or tonight. I sort of think it could be a recurve but JMO. I feel safer now in NE FLA than yesterday. JMO


The only recurve it'll be is a recurve up the coast.
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Upper convergence around the base of the trough over the east coast of the United States is creating upper level convergence along the west side of Irene.




This is causing subsidence (sinking air) which is warming and drying the environment in front of Irene. This is limiting convection (why we are seeing outflow boundaries) and outflow. Satellite derived upper level winds will not show this upper level convergence due to the lack of wind vectors in the area. However, the GFS and ECMWF 12z intializations both show the convergence aloft ahead of Irene as a result of winds wrapping around the base of the trough and moving toward Irene.

This issue may improve some over time as the trough lifts out, however, upper convergence is forecasted to remain on the west side which will continue to limit outflow and convection on that side.
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
Good afternoon all... interesting note is that, although Irene is not CURRENTLY progged to make a landfall on the east-central FL coast, people here in Brevard county are preparing some. Not panicky, but preparing. I work at a home improvement store and did notice a slight increase in foot traffic, people picking up batteries, plywood, flashlights, water, etc. So folks here are vigilant.


Do you wear Orange ?? My son works at a place on US192 as a lot guy and he wears orange stuff. He said it was a little busy there yesterday.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


I don't think she's close enough to Hispaniola's most rugged terrain to give her any issues like that. Take the most recent infrared for example. It shows a large blow up of intense cold cloud tops over Irene's center. Land interaction with PR disrupted the core because it was so fragile to begin with being in its development stages. She's starting to overcome that now.



I think you're right.
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Where is the Wind???

According to cumulative wind history, "hurricane" Irene is not a hurricane. Also, most of the wind measurements in Puerto Rico were not even close to hurricane strength.

So either nearly all the wind measurements are wrong, or the people declaring Irene a hurricane are wrong.



Looks like yet another model fail in a season full of them.
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Quoting hydrus:
Looks impressive anyway..:)


Yeah I love watching water vapor loops, they show just about every kind of spin there is. If you look at the Eastern U.S. Water Vapor you can see that front is only digging as far South as Georgia maybe and that the Texas High is keeping it from pushing back to Florida. Once that Low kicks out to the Northeast we'll be left with the Burmuda High filling back in to meet up the Texas High. I really think landfall of this one is going to be tough to call until it's about a day or two out.
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Quoting presslord:
I'm evacuating to Tampa...
and runs into I-95 traffic running from SC coast? Good luck... I'm staying put in Raleigh, but I might have to tell my dad to put plywood up because of people building new house next to me (woods, bricks, rocks, etc O_O)
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I am thinking this thing will get shifted east again probably by 5pm or tonight. I sort of think it could be a recurve but JMO. I feel safer now in NE FLA than yesterday. JMO
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1254. hcubed
Quoting WCSCTVCharleston:



I direct the 7pm news and I am a weather junkie who loves and chases tropical cyclones


Well, thanks for coming to the site. Dropped an email to your boss there to tell them how much we enjoy your input.

I imagine she'll get back to you on that...
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Quoting Jax82:
her vorticity stretches nearly to Jamaica now, hmmm

I have a quick question for anyone that would really know the answer. I amat work so unable to stay on WU too. long. The way her vorticity is stretching and deepening around the Jamaica area is there any chance she relocates her COC down there like Gustav did ?That is the same area Gustav reloacted his coc from north of the Haiti peninsula(don't know the right name for it.).
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Quoting TampaTom:


Cuban Sandwich and Cafe con leche?


man, that sounds good
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Quoting CaneHunter031472:


Actually if we want to be precise. Irene already hit the US last night. It is definitely not a fish storm anymore. The US was hit last night and now all we are doing is hoping that it will not make a second landfall in the CONUS.
Thank you for making the distinction. P.R. is part of the U.S.
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Quoting AllStar17:
When does the next recon. plane take off for Irene?
7:15 pm
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Good afternoon all... interesting note is that, although Irene is not CURRENTLY progged to make a landfall on the east-central FL coast, people here in Brevard county are preparing some. Not panicky, but preparing. I work at a home improvement store and did notice a slight increase in foot traffic, people picking up batteries, plywood, flashlights, water, etc. So folks here are vigilant.
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1247. Patrap
FunkTop Image

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting snotly:
Wow! to get that bright of a return that far out. must be intense convection, perhaps a hot tower.

Very deep convection:
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Right now, Irene is pulling a lot of air off the Dominican. I'm wondering if the air being forced up and over the mountains there are drying out so much that they are currently causing a disruption in the core of Irene.


That's weakened storms off the north shore of the Dominican Republic before. But by tomorrow afternoon that won't be a factor anymore.
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Quoting presslord:
I'm evacuating to Tampa...


Bring Jim Cantore with you, you'll have the place to yourself.
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1243. 7544
irene is getting bigger in size at this hour and still nudging west
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6812
People need to look at 12z and 18z models. Models that was at the east side of "cone" shifted back toward SC/NC border slightly... but recurve along SC/NC coast is still possible. Right now, Charleston-Mrytle Beach is in "center line" IMO
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Quoting Speeky:


I believe it took off at 2pm. It should be back soon though.


Still nothing on Google Earth, though.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Right now, Irene is pulling a lot of air off the Dominican. I'm wondering if the air being forced up and over the mountains there are drying out so much that they are currently causing a disruption in the core of Irene.


I don't think she's close enough to Hispaniola's most rugged terrain to give her any issues like that. Take the most recent infrared for example. It shows a large blow up of intense cold cloud tops over Irene's center. Land interaction with PR disrupted the core because it was so fragile to begin with being in its development stages. She's starting to overcome that now.

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1239. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
09L/H/I/C1
RI FLAG (FLAG)
MARK
19.33N68.09W






ALWAYS FOLLOW NHC/TPC FORECASTS FOR ALL WARNINGS REGARDING THIS STORM
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Quoting presslord:
I'm evacuating to Tampa...


Cuban Sandwich and Cafe con leche?
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Quoting 7544:
hmm looks like the gfs is also showing that sw jog over dr as the nam did could it follow the nam on this run and head more west
looked at the PR radar,irene looked to be going west
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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