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 MississippiWx:


Yep, with the structure of the one that just move off Africa, I could see it becoming the next named system.

yes possibly. One things for sure, it never became the "overland tropical storm" the GFS, ECMWF and Bastardi were thinking it would become lol

Quoting MississippiWx:
I believe 98L deserved an upgrade at the 2pm TWO. All of the focus at the NHC is on Irene, as it should be.

A nice, but elongated surface circulation has been there quite sometime. The only issue has been SAL and cool SSTs producing a very stable environment which has prevented any significant bouts of thunderstorm activity. The lack of thunderstorm activity also explains the open and elongated surface circulation.

Since 98L is only moving out into cooler waters, I can understand why the NHC has had it at 0-10%
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1136. Patrap
18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Irene
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Quoting HCW:
18z Model runs from the NHC hot off the press

I am pulling for the XTRP :)






Um, no thanks.
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Morning everyone
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Quoting tropicfreak:
Misswx, Levi, any expert on here, do you think this storm could be one for the history books?
It will be in a history book regardless of what happens, as part of the 2011 Season. But I am being sarcastic. And obviously not an expert. ;-)
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Quoting Patrap:
IRENE kinda winding up in place as she deecides on a Vector, seems Victor.






Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue...lol!
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1130. hydrus
This is a rather potent trough for late August...
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Expect a major east shift in the 18z global models...That said, in all actuality; we are still waiting on the 00z runs that will have upper air data in them...Til then I won't really begin to start thinking about making bets.


still not taking this for granted...got my stuff, jugs of water in the freezer, emptying ice maker as it goes...not buying any perishibles until she is gone...this is my aunts name...who is on prozac...and this thing is my aunt WITHOUT prozac...
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Interaction with Hispaniola is beginning to disorganize her convective cloud pattern which is becoming elongated somewhat to the shape of Hispaniola. Something to watch.
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Quoting HCW:
18z Model runs from the NHC hot off the press

I am pulling for the XTRP :)








Looks like it has shifted a bit west again with this run.
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18Z's & 12Z'z fully updated. TVCN west this run, more in line with the NHC track.


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Quoting beell:


And the only one left showing a good bit of land interaction and a track farther to the west to go with a weaker storm.


Intensity between the GFDL and HWRF are similar
First 48 GFDL

HOUR: .0 LONG: -67.00 LAT: 18.88 MIN PRESS (hPa): 985.88 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 58.19
HOUR: 6.0 LONG: -68.23 LAT: 19.08 MIN PRESS (hPa): 977.95 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 81.87
HOUR: 12.0 LONG: -68.99 LAT: 19.17 MIN PRESS (hPa): 975.88 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 76.18
HOUR: 18.0 LONG: -69.78 LAT: 19.35 MIN PRESS (hPa): 978.66 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 76.15
HOUR: 24.0 LONG: -70.64 LAT: 19.83 MIN PRESS (hPa): 983.31 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 72.93
HOUR: 30.0 LONG: -71.74 LAT: 20.23 MIN PRESS (hPa): 982.66 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 72.05
HOUR: 36.0 LONG: -72.90 LAT: 20.44 MIN PRESS (hPa): 977.36 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 76.83
HOUR: 42.0 LONG: -74.00 LAT: 20.59 MIN PRESS (hPa): 974.21 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 78.93
HOUR: 48.0 LONG: -74.94 LAT: 20.88 MIN PRESS (hPa): 972.88 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 74.40



First 48 HWRF

HOUR: 0.0 LONG: -66.90 LAT: 18.90 MIN PRESS (hPa): 984.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 76.00
HOUR: 6.0 LONG: -67.90 LAT: 18.70 MIN PRESS (hPa): 981.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 70.00
HOUR: 12.0 LONG: -68.70 LAT: 19.00 MIN PRESS (hPa): 978.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 75.00
HOUR: 18.0 LONG: -69.50 LAT: 19.50 MIN PRESS (hPa): 974.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 76.00
HOUR: 24.0 LONG: -70.20 LAT: 19.70 MIN PRESS (hPa): 975.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 72.00
HOUR: 30.0 LONG: -70.90 LAT: 20.00 MIN PRESS (hPa): 972.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 72.00
HOUR: 36.0 LONG: -71.60 LAT: 20.40 MIN PRESS (hPa): 971.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 73.00
HOUR: 42.0 LONG: -72.50 LAT: 20.70 MIN PRESS (hPa): 965.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 77.00
HOUR: 48.0 LONG: -73.20 LAT: 21.20 MIN PRESS (hPa): 961.00 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 85.00
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11072
1124. ncstorm
Quoting Bluestorm5:
I think we can squeeze in Thursday and half of Friday, but then again I haven't been in hurricane's path before.


I dont know, they will take account of people preparing their homes, wanting to leave or if mandatory evacs have to be issue and looking at that latest ECWMF run, I just dont see school happening but things can and will change, I hope for the better..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15137
Misswx, Levi, any expert on here, do you think this storm could be one for the history books?
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I don't know what to believe in when it comes to Irene, it appears she might make landfall along northeastern DR or skirt the coast, therefore it should take another 24 hours before rapid intensification is possible and a category 3/4 is more plausible than a five currently, fives are hard to get, especially in this part of the Atlantic Ocean.
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Quoting RyanFSU:
ECMWF 12z has landfall in North Carolina ... 144 hours


Where I live is in the NE corner of eye in Category 1/2 storm... I guess ECMWF is retreating back to west.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 7988
1120. Patrap
IRENE kinda winding up in place as she deecides on a Vector, seems Victor.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
little or no outflow in the southern semicircle.

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Expect a major east shift in the 18z global models...That said, in all actuality; we are still waiting on the 00z runs that will have upper air data in them...Til then I won't really begin to start thinking about making bets.
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1117. RyanFSU
The ECMWF grids that I am plotting up are the freely provided forecasts called the WMO "essential", and are at 0.5 x 0.5 grid spacing. The model runs at T1279 or about 14-16 km globally, so the pressures and winds won't match up here. The inner eye-wall of Irene in the raw ECMWF full-resolution grids is on par with what you'd see with HWRF and GFDL. So, for ECMWF intensity, best to go by MSLP -- 930s = Category 4.
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1116. dmh1026
Ants are climbing up the walls.....
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1114. K8eCane
Quoting Joshfsu123:
120 hour ECMWF has Irene approaching NC/SC boarder from South... with Irene making landfall near the boarder as a likely major hurricane and then pushing north.

ECMWF Model


This model is lifting out the TROF, which allows Irene to turn north before getting to Florida (into the weakness). However, it keeps the ridge near the US coast in the Atlantic, which forces Irene northward into NC/SC/Mid-Atlantic states.

This is the 2nd or 3rd consecutive run that this model has had a similar result.


Damn now that is right over top of my head
Member Since: April 26, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 3098
1113. HCW
18z Model runs from the NHC hot off the press

I am pulling for the XTRP :)






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Quoting Patrap:
HEADING WEST?
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1111. kaiden
Quoting usa777:

I can tell you first hand the winds were bad. I was in Bay St louis. The winds were screaming..a sound I will never forget. One of my wierdest memories from that day was me clinging to a tree, and seeing a cat in another tree and I could see that the cat was screaming and of course I couldn't hear it. It's crazy the little things you remember during a near death experience. I pray to god that this thing doesn't get to a cat 4 or 5 and makes landfall.


I know about that scream, when Frederick came in in 1979, the last 20-25 min. before the eye it was most unusual continuous roar. I do not spook or scare easily, but I can hear a certain sound to this day, and it will bring a little shiver. Katrina was not quite that bad on my side of the MS Coast. Still a lot of damage though.
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1109. Patrap




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
1108. fmbill
Quoting Patrap:


That radar loop makes it look like the system is stalling. Is that true, or just an illusion?
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1107. Torgen
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Forget these stupid models....What are the ants in south Fl doing today?


The ants in Tampa have evolved their antennae: One is used as a snorkel now, and the other as a periscope.

Funny thing about the local forecast: It has HURRICANE IRENE in red capital letters for Thursday, but then says "Tropical storm conditions possible. Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 70s to lower 80s near the coast and in the mid 70s inland. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Friday is much the same thing (tropical storm conditions possible,) with a rain chance of 60%. I suppose the storm might be pulling the moisture over here over to the Atlantic side to feed itself, if we don't get hit with a band.
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NCStorm - I dont' know much about forecasting or when an eye is an eye

... but I do have a little experience with hurricane damage and emergency planning. I did damage assessment after Andrew (FL) and Mitch (in and around Tegucigalpa, Honduras). so I have an idea of what really bad damage looks like.

It's best to prepare to be safe and have supplies until help can get to you.
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Looks like she has stalled and flooded the engine.
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1104. SeaMule
Timing is everything. With Andrew, the Bermuda High set back in, and forced him dead WEST......

If the trough lifts out, and the high builds back in...she could easily embark on a more westerly track.

I still think this is a GOM gig. after first plowing through Florida...ala Andrew.

If, however, she remains offshore Florida, and sweeps the east coast...imagine the fun if she stays just off the coast...and rides a 10-20 hour swath of cat 3-4 destruction....and finishes off blasting the Carolinas....

who knows right now. NO ONE....

but for now...
from Mississippi Gulf Coast to New York City....
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1103. zawxdsk
ECMWF at 120 hrs - 938 hPa - WHEW...

Link
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Quoting ncstorm:


I dont think you will be starting school on thursday..JMO..
I think we can squeeze in Thursday and half of Friday, but then again I haven't been in hurricane's path before.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 7988
1101. JNCali

Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Forget these stupid models....What are the ants in south Fl doing today?
They are all having afternoon prayers while facing towards the NHC
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Forget these stupid models....What are the ants in south Fl doing today?


I just checked, they are running around in circles and bumping into each other...what does that mean? LOL
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Never know the 2 highs can bridge together, Irene hits Miami goes over Florida, hits the panhandle, a double whammy
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
120 hour ECMWF has Irene approaching NC/SC boarder from South... with Irene making landfall near the boarder as a likely major hurricane and then pushing north.

ECMWF Model


This model is lifting out the TROF, which allows Irene to turn north before getting to Florida (into the weakness). However, it keeps the ridge near the US coast in the Atlantic, which forces Irene northward into NC/SC/Mid-Atlantic states.

This is the 2nd or 3rd consecutive run that this model has had a similar result.
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Quoting PrivateIdaho:
Forget these stupid models....What are the ants in south Fl doing today?


Ant activity on the increase. Squirrels have taken up crude weapons. That's just in eastern Palm Beach County though.
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 447
1096. Patrap
Quoting atmoaggie:
Thankfully extrapolation is a terrible predictor! (As it is in all things in this subject matter...)



It almost poked me in the eye getting the Mail. Im gonna complain to them.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
hmmmmmm....one of the tv mets just made a comment that Irene hasn't really been doing what they expected so much...seems as tho she is creating her own environment and track and rather ignoring what the troughs should be doing...idk...sounds a bit like what hugo did...
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1094. 7544
irene is nudging more west at this hour
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6757
Quoting DookiePBC:


Not so easy...when tropical activity threatens, the squirrels are the first to know. They tend to arm themselves, as shown in my avatar. ;-)
The one on my friend's computer just sits and drinks Guinness.
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Quoting xtremeweathertracker:


This is the HPC's forecast surface map for day 4!! Notice the Texas high has retreated to the 4 corners region and the A/B high building in rather strongly!!!


I have to go, but you showed this in your video a couple days ago.
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Remember everyone, a lot of the track will be dependent on the short term intensity. If Irene suddenly weakens, it will be forced into Haiti with further weakening likely. It will then be forced more westward, putting FL well into play. If Irene suddenly decides in the next 36 hours to bomb out into a major, it will be forced more north and it might just scrape the US coastline. Conditions are very favorable for further intensification of Hurricane Irene at this time in the Bahamas, and no one should put their guard down.
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1090. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127810
Quoting Patrap:
18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Irene
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Thankfully extrapolation is a terrible predictor! (As it is in all things in this subject matter...)

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1088. RyanFSU
ECMWF 12z has landfall in North Carolina ... 144 hours


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1087. Skyepony (Mod)
Kennedy Space Center is at Hurricon4.
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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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