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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1087. Skyepony (Mod)
Kennedy Space Center is at Hurricon4.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Irene
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)






Are these really the 18Z models?
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
Quoting Patrap:
18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Irene
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)






18Z Already out?
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1084. beell
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Only the GFDL still on the left side, it and the UKMET are updated to 12Z, the rest are still waiting the 18Z update.




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.
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Certaintly a shot at five status is possible. Three days over the Atlantic Ocean is enough time, especially moving over 30C waters and ideal upper level atmospheric conditions present.
Member Since: July 29, 2011 Posts: 9 Comments: 5
Quoting kshipre1:
can someone confirm if the Bermuda High builds westward on Friday?


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!!!


Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 57 Comments: 571
nice post. that is exactly what I was wondering. this is the supposed pattern change that was talked about a couple of weeks ago.

If (and this is a big if) the storm were to head straight to florida?! wow. that would be a major deviation from the carolinas and new england track!

not saying it would or will happen but that is an awfully big high and no guarantee Irene will start making the NW then N turn based on the High to the north
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Yep, when there are 1/2 mile wide, 10 mile long swaths of thousands of broken pine trees snapped ~15 feet above ground all over the area, the winds were bad enough...

And you can still very easily pick out those swaths among the forested areas 6 years later.

I believe it. It's been 19 years this week since Andrew ripped through South Florida, and you can still see broken pine trees in many places.

Some injuries take many years to heal...
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Quoting Joshfsu123:



That is actually a pretty big shift west from the earlier run (if the picture that is posted was correct). NOGAPS was one of the far right models but now it is more in agreement with the middle of the pack.


I do believe this is the right picture, according to the time stamp it is.
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
Quoting xtremeweathertracker:
Notice how similar the 12Z GFDL and ECMWF models are when making their approach to Florida!! We definitely cannot rule out a direct Florida landfall at this point!! Notice how both models show the A/B high building back in rather strongly as Irene makes its approach to Florida. The exact strength of this high will be the deciding factor in track!!!




One is due east of west palm the other is SE of Miami how is that approach similar?
Member Since: August 19, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 131
Quoting RevInFL:
Hi all. I saw the 2pm update and saw that TS force winds now extend out 185 miles. Seems all the weather forecasters in my area say I will be safe in East Central Florida,how far is Irene going to miss to the east of the peninsula? I mean 185 miles is pretty wide wind field.

Who is saying this? I am hearing a bit of the opposite, but most of the newscasters focus on the Orlando area and you may be hearing that bias in their reporting (still think Orlando may see some TS force winds)
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1075. gugi182
We could have 100 tropical storms in a season but it only takes 1 to chance the season completely good example ANDREW in 1992.
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Quoting jfm1975:
Can someone PLEASE verify something I saw a bit ago... did ALL the model runs shift to miami suddenly..and we are really facing an absolute catastrophe..worse than andrew ? please tell me I was seeing things


That was just one model
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Interesting how active this blog has become. Thank you Dr. Masters for creating the best resource for real time analysis of tropical systems and an agregation point for so many experts and newbies alike.

It appears that Irene has the potential to be one of the 10 most damaging storms in US history. A repeat of a storm like a Hugo could cause $30-50 billion in damage. There are modeled senarios where the damage caused by direct hit on Miami as a cat 4 or 5 or on NYC as a cat 3 exceed the $100 billion mark. I certainly hope and pray that none of these senarios verify.

For reference the 10 most damaging storms in US history were.

1. Katrina (LA/MS/AL/SE FL) 2005 3 $105,840,000,000
2. Andrew (SE FL/SE LA) 1992 5 $45,561,000,000

3. Ike (TX/LA/MS) 2008 2 $27,790,000,000
4. Wilma (FL) 2005 3 $20,587,000,000
5. Ivan (FL/AL) 2004 3 $19,832,000,000
6. Charley (FL) 2004 4 $15,820,000,000
7. Hugo (SC) 1989 4 $9,739,820,675
8. Rita (LA/TX) 2005 3 $11,797,000,000
9. Agnes (NE U.S.) 1972 1 $11,760,000,000
10. Betsy (FL/LA) 1965 3 $11,227,000,000

Irene appears to have the potential to make this list. However, much is uncertain at this time, The average track error is 250 miles at 5 days and that is from a mean forecast point. This storm also has the potential for 2 or even 3 landfall points.

It is imposible to predict with presicion the path or intensity of a tropical storm 3 or more days out. As the chart illustrates damage is more correlated with storm path than with intensity.
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1072. 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: 424 Comments: 128282
Quoting GoWVU:


Would not be surprised when I get to work tommorow, if the air base starts moving planes out of the Charleston area...


Jut got done taking Tom Kaminicky's class at tech. He was out there for a while as a structures guy. Know him?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16549
Once we have the G1V data in these models later tonight into tomorrow we will know for sure if Florida will be affected.
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
1069. 7544
Quoting xtremeweathertracker:
Notice how similar the 12Z GFDL and ECMWF models are when making their approach to Florida!! We definitely cannot rule out a direct Florida landfall at this point!! Notice how both models show the A/B high building back in rather strongly as Irene makes its approach to Florida. The exact strength of this high will be the deciding factor in track!!!



good obs thanks for pointing that out good call
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Quoting presslord:


I wouldn't get too excited about having Friday off just yet if I were you, kiddo...


yeah right...they close at the thought of bad weather in Charleston county....if the ts winds are 185 miles from the center and it is to pass anywhere near us, they will call school because of the buses on the bridges...it is early in the week but have even heard from the schools they are already on alert due to the fact that our preschool is on the same weather closure procedure as Charleston county...
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1067. gugi182
Who thinks HURRICANE IRENE will have her name retired?

Looking at the models residents from Jacksonville,FL up to Myrtle beach,SC should monitor this hurricane and possible major cat.3 or 4 in that vicinity by the end of the week.
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Quoting Dem86Mets:


12Z nogaps Shifted West insignificantly



That is actually a pretty big shift west from the earlier run (if the picture that is posted was correct). NOGAPS was one of the far right models but now it is more in agreement with the middle of the pack.
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Quoting jfm1975:
Can someone PLEASE verify something I saw a bit ago... did ALL the model runs shift to miami suddenly..and we are really facing an absolute catastrophe..worse than andrew ? please tell me I was seeing things


No, see post 1008
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11165
1063. ncstorm
Quoting Bluestorm5:
My school starts on Thursday as well.


I dont think you will be starting school on thursday..JMO..
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1062. wpb
Quoting Dem86Mets:


12Z nogaps Shifted West insignificantly
thanks for the grafic
Member Since: May 28, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 573
Forget these stupid models....What are the ants in south Fl doing today?
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
on vis. looks like she sticking to the greater antillias moving west look for disorganization
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can someone confirm if the Bermuda High builds westward on Friday?
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Quoting wolftribe2009:
I have a feeling Irene is going to be a LARGE storm

Link

It already is.
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 994
Quoting ncstorm:


schools start here on thursday..but if Irene does what some of the models are predicting, school might be delayed for a while
My school starts on Thursday as well.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8009
1056. ncstorm
Quoting tiggeriffic:


school started for us in the Charleston area last week...this is gonna be an interesting week none the less...even our updates on the 8s has us blocked in red for friday watching the tropics...almost eerie in a way


I think it should have all the days in this week marked "watching the tropics"..LOL..eerie is a very fitting word..
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1055. jfm1975
Can someone PLEASE verify something I saw a bit ago... did ALL the model runs shift to miami suddenly..and we are really facing an absolute catastrophe..worse than andrew ? please tell me I was seeing things
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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.
Yep, when there are 1/2 mile wide, 10 mile long swaths of thousands of broken pine trees snapped ~15 feet above ground all over the area, the winds were bad enough...

And you can still very easily pick out those swaths among the forested areas 6 years later.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting Torgen:




Figured we could use a little stress relief. :)
Lmao!!!! +1000
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Quoting snow2fire:


I hope this is a little helpful.


Durham here. Very helpful post! Thank you
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Notice how similar the 12Z GFDL and ECMWF models are when making their approach to Florida!! We definitely cannot rule out a direct Florida landfall at this point!! Notice how both models show the A/B high building back in rather strongly as Irene makes its approach to Florida. The exact strength of this high will be the deciding factor in track!!!

Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 57 Comments: 571
1050. GoWVU
Quoting tiggeriffic:


school started for us in the Charleston area last week...this is gonna be an interesting week none the less...even our updates on the 8s has us blocked in red for friday watching the tropics...almost eerie in a way


Would not be surprised when I get to work tommorow, if the air base starts moving planes out of the Charleston area...
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Quoting iamajeepmom:


hmmm...you been gathering your nuts up for safekeeping?:)


Not so easy...when tropical activity threatens, the squirrels are the first to know. They tend to arm themselves, as shown in my avatar. ;-)
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Lower level one is scheduled for takeoff at 7:15 PM EDT. The upper level ones should be in the air currently.


thx
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


school started for us in the Charleston area last week...this is gonna be an interesting week none the less...even our updates on the 8s has us blocked in red for friday watching the tropics...almost eerie in a way


I wouldn't get too excited about having Friday off just yet if I were you, kiddo...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
Quoting MrstormX:
When is the next recon???


Lower level one is scheduled for takeoff at 7:15 PM EDT. The upper level ones should be in the air currently.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11165


12Z nogaps Shifted West insignificantly
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
1044. ncstorm
Quoting snow2fire:
NCstorm - I'm in Raleigh area... If the NHC does not issue an evacuation order, whether to evacuate becomes a personal decision.

First, it is unlikely that a CAT 5 would impact the NC coast. Nonetheless even with a weaker storm it is prudent to expect high winds, power outages, etc. and prepare accordingly. It’s worth looking at what happened in past to think about what might happen if a Cat3 were to impact coast and run through Raleigh Area. Here’s some info on what happened with Fran.

FEMA http://www.csc.noaa.gov/hes/docs/stormEffects/STUD Y_INLAND_WIND_EFFECTS_FRAN_ASSESSMENT_INLAND_WIND_ MODEL.pdf

Wind: in Fran Raleigh had sustained winds of 45 mph and estimated gusts to 79. Greenville had estimated gusts to 100mph.

There are more up to date reports that provide inland wind models. These may give insight into what kinds of winds might be expected inland given a given storm and track.

NCSU
http://www4.ncsu.edu/~nwsfo/storage/cases/1996090 6/

Wake County (Raleigh and vicinity) alone reported over $900 million in damage to residential and commercial property. Forestry/timber losses for the state probably exceeded $1 billion. Water and power were out for a week. Downed trees closed many major roads preventing a quick response by the 1st responders.

Wake County Emergency Operations plan notes that at one point after Fran 1.7 Million residents of Wake county were without power. The response didn’t go so well for Fran and many lessons were learned. Hopefully Gov has incorporated LL into today’s plans.

If a big hurricane were to impact us, it would be prudent, to prepare as a minimum,for a few days of no power, water, food etc. It may be a good idea to think about how many dying and sick loblolly pines and other trees can fall on your house when you're deciding where to ride storm out.

As with people living on the beach, we need to think about making plans before a storm hits, finalize the plan as the threat emerges, and then execute the plan if it becomes necessary.

I hope this is a little helpful.


thanks..appreciate it!
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Quoting ncstorm:


schools start here on thursday..but if Irene does what some of the models are predicting, school might be delayed for a while


school started for us in the Charleston area last week...this is gonna be an interesting week none the less...even our updates on the 8s has us blocked in red for friday watching the tropics...almost eerie in a way
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Quoting RyanFSU:
ECMWF through 96-hours...




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.
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Quoting xtremeweathertracker:
Hurricane Irene Video Update


Thanks for update
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I didn't say the COC was exposed, I said a part of the circulation was exposed in that dry slot region which is slowly filling in.
Member Since: July 29, 2011 Posts: 9 Comments: 5
1038. usa777
Quoting Barkeep1967:



Ummmmm not very bad ? You might want to Check again and rethink you post. Ask those folks in Mississippi how bad the winds were.

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.
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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.



I think 98L will certainly be named soon. What I have observed is that 98L has sucked up a tremendous about of the SAL that was in the mid Atlantic. The wave train off Africa is pumping wave after wave now. Without the SAL if we get a stronger ridge it will certainly be an interesting season.
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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.