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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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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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.


Actually if we want to be precise. Irene already hit the US last night. It is definitely not a fish stor 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.
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I'm evacuating to Tampa...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
1234. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125613
This day in 2005: Tropical Storm Jose forms in the Bay of Campeche and moves into Mexico.


So, technically, yesterday 2011 was tied with 2005 in named storms through August 21 (I don't care about how weak 2011's have been - I'm just talking about STRICTLY numbers).
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1232. snotly
Wow! to get that bright of a return that far out. must be intense convection, perhaps a hot tower.

Quoting Patrap:
It seems to be shaking off the PR crossing and morphing into another phase.

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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).




The only model I am looking at ATM is the TVCN consensus model. It has moved westward a bit since this morning and more in line with the current NHC track. Focusing on the TVCN makes your day much less stressful.
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1230. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125613
Quoting stormpetrol:
My goodness Irene is expanding in size!


It is big enough already - I had to go to atlantic wide view to see entire storm.
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1228. Speeky
Quoting AllStar17:
When does the next recon. plane take off for Irene?


I believe it took off at 2pm. It should be back soon though.
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1227. Jax82
her 850mb vorticity stretches nearly to Jamaica now, hmmm

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1261
Quoting MississippiWx:
Irene's structure is a bit ragged, but she seems to be getting it together quickly. Once she has a solid core, she's going to intensify quickly with 30C+ waters and very light shear.

I think someone asked me a few pages back if I thought this one would be one for the record books. It's hard to say right now because it's difficult to ignore the eastward shift in the models. However, if the eventual track hits land square on, I'm afraid it's going to be bad bad bad.



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.
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Hurricane Irene Video Update
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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.
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When does the next recon. plane take off for Irene?
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Quoting 996tt:


Yep, Forecast will keep getting revised west as long as this occurs. No way hits Carolinas unless overcomes this within say 24 hours and before hh in the am.
huh?

I said that was an issue, but it's not going to totally kill the storm. People in the Carolinas do need to begin preparing now, there is a great chance they will be affected by the storm, and model consensus points to a landfall in that area.
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Quoting CorneliaMarie:
The GFDL is a persistent bugger.

Speaking of which, where is Taz? I thought he would be all over this.


Why a bugger
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Quoting xtremeweathertracker:

Link

Thanks :)
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My goodness Irene is expanding in size!
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Just two days ago there was a nearly week long consensus on a FL landfall. I would hold till this evenings 00Z runs and beyond once upper air flight and regular interval sounding data is included before concluding just yet.


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).
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Quoting hurricanehanna:
can someone send me the link to the "old fashioned" weather maps that show the High over TX and the trough coming down near the East Coast? TIA

Link
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1216. Speeky
Quoting MrstormX:


Seriously....how can you say that about a cat 1 hurricane days from making a major landfall.


People didn't expect Jeanne of 2004 to be one for the record books either. However when it hit Haiti that soon changed.
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1215. hydrus
Quoting 69Viking:


I don't think it's diving as far South as it looks. The low temps in the FL Panhandle are forecast to be in the mid 70's after the front passes. When the last front went through we had lows in the 60's, that front dove a lot deeper South than this one is.
Looks impressive anyway..:)
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Quoting Matt1989:
lol looks like this is going to be another fishy storm that misses the US. Which in this case is great news! hopefully the models keep trending east.


Y'know that can change at the drop of a dime, for chirst sakes this is not set in stone the WHOLE east coast has to watch this so stop wishcasting and look at the cold hard facts.
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I am updating my blog to include tide information for the upper SC and NC coast. I list the time of the highest tide of the day and its height.
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Quoting Matt1989:
lol looks like this is going to be another fishy storm that misses the US. Which in this case is great news! hopefully the models keep trending east.


You may be right...I disagree at the moment, but you MAY be right.
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can someone send me the link to the "old fashioned" weather maps that show the High over TX and the trough coming down near the East Coast? TIA
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Irene's structure is a bit ragged, but she seems to be getting it together quickly. Once she has a solid core, she's going to intensify quickly with 30C+ waters and very light shear.

I think someone asked me a few pages back if I thought this one would be one for the record books. It's hard to say right now because it's difficult to ignore the eastward shift in the models. However, if the eventual track hits land square on, I'm afraid it's going to be bad bad bad.

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Quoting Speeky:
I think Hurricane Irene may be one for the record books. A high death toll is not out of the question right?


Seriously....how can you say that about a cat 1 hurricane days from making a major landfall.
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Quoting presslord:


if you're serious...I have some people who may be able to help at Edisto...WU mail me


dads on it, thanks for the offer
Member Since: May 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
Quoting Grothar:
The 12Z



The 18Z




The GFDL is a persistent bugger.
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1203. srada
Quoting portcharlotte:
You are right..people have short memories...I get a kick out of all you peopke from NC and SC..The storm has not even settled the Florida Issue yet. How are you guys going to survive the next three days? Are you going to drive yourselves into a frenzy in front of the computer on a storm 1000 miles away..One or two degrees can put her out to sea....





Is someone mad that the storm is not heading towards them? Arent you in front of your computer right now getting a kick out of NC/SC folks?
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Quoting bappit:

That's a ways out in time. No one knows for sure.


Where did they see that particular layout?
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IRENE kinda winding up in place as she deecides on a Vector, seems Victor.


roger, Roger...
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Quoting beell:
Heck, you'd be here anyway!
: -)



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.
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If the models shift any more east, Bermuda may move into the cone. LOL
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For those just joining us:
Hurricane Irene Video Update
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1195. 996tt
Quoting TomTaylor:
This is true. This about the only flaw I can find with Irene's upper level environment.




However, looking at those outflow boundaries and the upper level winds, it would appear that the lack of outflow on those sides is due to dry air preventing significant convection and therefore no significant outflow. Upper level winds still indicate that air is spreading out and away from the storm in that semi-circle and outflow boundaries suggest that Irene has some issues with dry air. Water vapor and TPW imagery also show some dry air out ahead of Irene.


Yep, Forecast will keep getting revised west as long as this occurs. No way hits Carolinas unless overcomes this within say 24 hours and before hh in the am.
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Quoting portcharlotte:
You are right..people have short memories...I get a kick out of all you peopke from NC and SC..The storm has not even settled the Florida Issue yet. How are you guys going to survive the next three days? Are you going to drive yourselves into a frenzy in front of the computer on a storm 1000 miles away..One or two degrees can put her out to sea....





or in the living room
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1193. Patrap
It seems to be shaking off the PR crossing and morphing into another phase.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125613
1192. beell
Heck, you'd be here anyway!
: -)

Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Ya gonna make me post the rest

GFDL


HOUR: 54.0 LONG: -75.79 LAT: 21.37 MIN PRESS (hPa): 964.75 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 84.90
HOUR: 60.0 LONG: -76.73 LAT: 21.92 MIN PRESS (hPa): 955.45 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 94.11
HOUR: 66.0 LONG: -77.66 LAT: 22.41 MIN PRESS (hPa): 954.02 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 96.93
HOUR: 72.0 LONG: -78.39 LAT: 23.07 MIN PRESS (hPa): 947.41 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS):106.52
HOUR: 78.0 LONG: -79.09 LAT: 23.81 MIN PRESS (hPa): 937.36 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS):115.74
HOUR: 84.0 LONG: -79.50 LAT: 24.53 MIN PRESS (hPa): 926.99 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS):126.96
HOUR: 90.0 LONG: -80.07 LAT: 25.36 MIN PRESS (hPa): 921.08 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS):132.55
HOUR: 96.0 LONG: -80.71 LAT: 26.17 MIN PRESS (hPa): 935.55 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS):110.82
HOUR:102.0 LONG: -81.21 LAT: 26.87 MIN PRESS (hPa): 947.71 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 86.79
HOUR:108.0 LONG: -81.50 LAT: 27.59 MIN PRESS (hPa): 951.90 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 85.90
HOUR:114.0 LONG: -81.96 LAT: 28.31 MIN PRESS (hPa): 957.99 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 81.57
HOUR:120.0 LONG: -82.28 LAT: 29.17 MIN PRESS (hPa): 963.28 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 79.56
HOUR:126.0 LONG: -82.39 LAT: 30.03 MIN PRESS (hPa): 965.33 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 77.04



HWRF

HOUR: 54.0 LONG: -73.80 LAT: 21.80 MIN PRESS (hPa): 953.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 87.00
HOUR: 60.0 LONG: -74.60 LAT: 22.40 MIN PRESS (hPa): 947.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 93.00
HOUR: 66.0 LONG: -75.20 LAT: 23.30 MIN PRESS (hPa): 939.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 107.00
HOUR: 72.0 LONG: -75.90 LAT: 24.20 MIN PRESS (hPa): 938.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 100.00
HOUR: 78.0 LONG: -76.50 LAT: 25.20 MIN PRESS (hPa): 934.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 108.00
HOUR: 84.0 LONG: -77.10 LAT: 26.20 MIN PRESS (hPa): 931.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 110.00
HOUR: 90.0 LONG: -77.60 LAT: 27.00 MIN PRESS (hPa): 926.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 106.00
HOUR: 96.0 LONG: -77.80 LAT: 28.00 MIN PRESS (hPa): 926.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 110.00
HOUR: 102.0 LONG: -78.20 LAT: 28.80 MIN PRESS (hPa): 923.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 111.00
HOUR: 108.0 LONG: -78.50 LAT: 29.60 MIN PRESS (hPa): 924.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 109.00
HOUR: 114.0 LONG: -79.00 LAT: 30.50 MIN PRESS (hPa): 923.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 109.00
HOUR: 120.0 LONG: -79.10 LAT: 31.30 MIN PRESS (hPa): 922.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 114.00
HOUR: 126.0 LONG: -79.50 LAT: 32.20 MIN PRESS (hPa): 921.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 109.00
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You are right..people have short memories...I get a kick out of all you peopke from NC and SC..The storm has not even settled the Florida Issue yet. How are you guys going to survive the next three days? Are you going to drive yourselves into a frenzy in front of the computer on a storm 1000 miles away..One or two degrees can put her out to sea....



Quoting tea3781:
It reminds me of Emily...all models that kept saying it was going to turn to the north and it didnt until much later than originally forecasted.
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1190. RickWPB
Quoting Joshfsu123:



To me, that picture by the ECMWF at hour 96 shows the TROF lifting out - if that is the case, it should support Irene moving NORTH into the weakness and into SC/NC and up the east coast, as once the TROF lifts out, the high pressure will rebuild.

Interested to see what the rest of this model run looks like.

You can see the whole 12Z run of ECMWF here:

Link
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1188. Grothar
The 12Z



The 18Z

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1187. 996tt
Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


Well off the east coast of Florida, no tropical storm force winds at all for Florida with this track, especially being on the weaker, western side of the hurricane. Floyd came a lot closer to the east coast and the highest winds here (Orlando) were 34 with gusts to 52 mph. As others have mentioned, this pattern of the models showing South Florida, then the FL east coast, then just off the coast, then well east of FL to NC/out-to-sea is typical and I have seen it occur many times. It takes a very specific and usually ephemeral pattern to direct a hurricane which is north of the Greater Antilles to the east coast of Florida. Florida folks should not let their guard down, but the Bahamas, SC and NC are the areas that should really be concerned and take steps to prepare.


Yep, everyone needs to be prepared, but just like the last few that have hit CONUS, this things is not going to be strong enough to make turn and hit east coast. It will linger in strength until Southern outflow increases as it clears Hispanola influence and will keep WNW. Just like Gustav and Ike which were supposed to be East Coast storms, the high in Bermuda, low intensity, lower level steering and etc. will take it to Keys and GOM. See revision late tonight early tomorrow when hh data starts rolling in.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.