Irene pounds the Dominican Republic, heads for the Bahamas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:32 PM GMT on August 23, 2011

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Hurricane Irene is pounding the north coast of the Dominican Republic this morning with tropical storm-force winds and torrential rains, as the storm continues to head west-northwest towards the Bahama Islands. Puerto Plata on the north coast of the Dominican Republic reported sustained winds of 58 mph at 5am local time this morning, with heavy rain. In the Turks and Caicos Islands ahead of Irene, winds have gusted to 42 - 49 mph this morning on Providenciales at personal weather stations at the Regent Grand and at Pine Cay. The latest hurricane hunter eye report at 10:38am EDT found a central pressure of 980 mb, and top surface winds of 85 mph using their SFMR instrument. The plane had not finished sampling the storm yet.

Yesterday, Irene hit Puerto Rico as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds, reaching hurricane strength as it emerged into the Atlantic northwest of the capital of San Juan. No deaths or major injuries have been reported thus far from the islands, though the storm knocked out power to 1 million residents of Puerto Rico, including the entire island Vieques; 28% of Puerto Rico had no running water Monday afternoon. Billionaire Richard Branson's 8-bedroom mansion on private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands was hit by lightning during the storm and burned down, and Branson relates on his blog how actress Kate Winslett had to carry out his 90-year-old mother from the main house to safety. Haiti has thus far escaped heavy rains from Irene, though the main danger comes today as the storm makes its closest approach to Haiti.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Irene, showing a hint of an eye starting to pop out.

Track forecast for Irene
Yesterday's dropsonde mission by the NOAA jet helped significantly narrow the uncertainty in the 1 - 3 day forecasts from the computer models. Irene will track through the Turks and Caicos islands today, the central Bahamas on Wednesday, and northwestern Bahamas on Thursday. However, the models still diverge considerably on their 4 - 5 days forecasts. One reliable model, the UKMET, takes Irene into South Carolina, while several others have the hurricane missing the Southeast U.S. completely, passing just offshore of the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Saturday. The official NHC forecast of a landfall along the North Carolina coast is a reasonable compromise, though with the models trending more eastwards of late, I would favor a landfall farther east than NHC is predicting. Irene will continue north or curve northeast after its encounter with North Carolina, and the hurricane could be a dangerous and destructive storm for the entire mid-Atlantic and New England coast.

A research project funded by NOAA known as the Joint Hurricane Testbed has produced a remarkable number of tools now in operational use at the National Hurricane Center to improve hurricane forecasts and warnings. One of these projects, called "Prediction of Consensus TC Track Forecast Error and Correctors to Improve Consensus TC Track Forecasts", was an effort by Dr. Jim Goerss at the Navy Research Lab to improve the accuracy of the NHC "cone of uncertainty" (AKA the "Cone of Death") showing where a storm is expected to track 2/3 of the time. The radius of the circles that make up the cone are based on error statistics of the official NHC forecast over the past five years. We can expect in certain situations, such as when the models are in substantial disagreement, a consensus forecast made using these models will have much greater than average errors. Since the NHC typically bases their forecast on a consensus forecast made using a combination of reliable hurricane forecasting models, it is instructive to view the "GPCE" (Goerss Prediction Consensus Error) circles to see if the uncertainty cone should be smaller or larger than usual. The consensus forecast I'll look at is called "TVCN", and is constructed by averaging the track forecasts made by most of (or all) of these models: GFS, ECMWF, NOGAPS, GFDL, HWRF, GFDN, and UKMET. In the case of this morning's 12 UTC (8am EDT) runs of these models, here is what the radius of the "cone of uncertainty" should be, in nautical miles:

12 hours: 27 nm
24 hours: 44 nm
36 hours: 64 nm
48 hours: 81 nm
72 hours: 137 nm
96 hours: 201 nm
120 hours: 308 nm

And here is the radius of NHC's "cone of uncertainty" for their official forecast, based on the average errors for the past five years:

12 hours: 36 nm
24 hours: 59 nm
36 hours: 79 nm
48 hours: 98 nm
72 hours: 144 nm
96 hours: 190 nm
120 hours: 239 nm

So, the GPCE error estimates are showing that the latest forecasts for Irene are better than average over the 1 - 3 day time period, and worse than average for 4 - 5 days. Note the error estimate of 308 nm (355 miles) for today's 5-day forecast. That's more than the distance from New York City to Boston, suggesting that we really don't know what portions of New England might be at most risk from Irene. It is still quite possible the core of the hurricane could miss New England.

Intensity forecast for Irene
Latest microwave data suggests that Irene does not have full eyewall; a gap exists in the southwest side. With wind shear now a moderate 10 - 20 knots, Irene may have trouble intensifying today. The hurricane is embedded in a large envelope of moisture, and wind shear is expected to remain moderate, 10 - 20 knots, for the next four days. With water temperatures very warm, 29 - 30°C, these conditions should allow for intensification to a Category 3 storm sometime in the next two days. Satellite loops show that Irene is steadily growing in size, which will protect the storm against major disruption by wind shear. The storm is lacking much development on its southwest side, where the presence of Hispaniola is interfering with development. Once Irene pulls away from Hispaniola tonight, intensification is more likely.

Irene's impact on the Turks and Caicos Islands
Heavy rains from Irene have already reached the Turks and Caicos Islands, which form the southeastern portion of the Bahama Islands chain. The last hurricane to affect the Turks and Caicos islands was Hurricane Ike of 2008. Ike's northern eyewall devastated Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, and a few other smaller cays when the storm was at Category 4 strength. Ike then weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds before making a direct hit on Great Inagua Island. Approximately 70-80% of the houses on Great Inagua Island sustained roof damage, and 25% had major damage or were destroyed. The Morton Salt factory on the island was forced to halt operations as Ike damaged its offices and loading docks. A few West Indian flamingos were killed by Ike but most of the 50,000 flamingos in Inagua National Park--the world's largest colony--survived by taking shelter within the park's mangroves or flying to other islands. Risk Management Solutions estimates that total damage costs are between $50 and $200 million (USD) for the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. Irene will be weaker than Ike, so will not do as much damage. The main threat from Irene will be wind damage.


Figure 2. The path of Hurricane Ike of 2008 took it through the Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds (pink colors).

Irene's impact on the Bahama Islands
Irene will pass through the length of the Bahama Island chain and cause widespread destruction on those islands unfortunate enough to encounter the storm's right front eyewall. Currently, it appears that Crooked, Cat, Exuma, Eleuthera, and Abaco Islands are all in danger of experiencing the eyewall of Irene, which will be capable of bringing storm surges of 9 - 13 feet. The current forecast puts the Bahamas' two most developed islands--New Providence and Grand Bahama--on the weaker west side of Irene, where Category 1 hurricane winds are likely. These winds will likely cause considerable but not devastating damage. Irene will come very close to the capital city of Nassau on New Providence Island on Thursday morning, home to 70% of the population of the Bahamas. Nassau has received direct hits from three major hurricanes since 1851--the Category 4 Nassau Hurricane of 1926, which killed 287 people, a Category 4 hurricane in 1866 that killed 387 people, and a Category 3 hurricane in August 1949. The island is vulnerable to high storm surges--a ten-foot storm surge is theoretically possible on the south shore of Nassau in a Category 3 hurricane. However, the south shore of the island is relatively undeveloped, and the city of Nassau and Paradise Island are mostly higher than ten feet in elevation. A much higher storm surge of 20 feet is possible along the southwest shore of Exuma Island, but again, this shore is not heavily developed.


Figure 3. The height above ground that a mid-strength Category 3 hurricane with 120 - 125 mph winds would push a storm surge in a worst-case scenario. The image was generated using the primary computer model used by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to forecast storm surge--the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model. The accuracy of the SLOSH model is advertised as plus or minus 20%. This "Maximum Water Depth" image shows the water depth at each grid cell of the SLOSH domain. Thus, if you are inland at an elevation of ten feet above mean sea level, and the combined storm surge and tide (the "storm tide") is fifteen feet at your location, the water depth image will show five feet of inundation. This Maximum of the "Maximum Envelope of Waters" (MOM) image was generated for high tide and is a composite of the maximum storm surge found for dozens of individual runs of different Category 3 storms with different tracks. Thus, no single storm will be able to cause the level of flooding depicted in this SLOSH storm surge image.

Irene a potential multi-billion dollar disaster for New England and the mid-Atlantic
Though it is still possible the core of Irene will miss the U.S., the current NHC official forecast would mean that Irene would bring destructive flash flooding, significant beach damage, and widespread power outages due to tree damage along the entire U.S. coast from North Carolina to Maine, costing several billion dollars. If Irene ends up skirting the Outer Banks of North Carolina and not significantly weakening, then plowing through the mid-Atlantic and New England states as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, it could become one of the ten most damaging hurricanes in history. The latest 06Z (2am EDT) run of the GFS model puts Irene ashore in Southeast Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon as a large storm with a central pressure of 974 mb. The latest run of the ECMWF model has Irene with a central pressure of 964 mb over Chesapeake Bay, and 972 mb over New Jersey. These central pressures correspond to strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane strengths, and are similar to what Hurricane Floyd or 1999 had when it moved up the mid-Atlantic coast after hitting North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane. Floyd was the 14th most damaging hurricane in history, with total damages estimated at $9.2 billion (2010 dollars.) Most of the damage was in North Carolina, which experienced its worst flooding on record. If the GFS and ECMWF models are correct, Irene could easily be a $10 billion hurricane, causing widespread damage along a long section of heavily populated coast. The most damaging Northeast U.S. hurricane of all time was Hurricane Agnes of 1972, with damages estimated at $11.8 billion (2010 dollars.) Currently, it appears that Irene will hit North Carolina on Saturday, and New England on Sunday. I strongly urge all residents of the coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts to assess their hurricane preparedness immediately, and anticipate the possibility of hurricane conditions this weekend.

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.

Elsewhere in the tropics
There are two tropical waves far out in the eastern Atlantic, Invest 90L and Invest 98L, that NHC is giving 20% chances of developing into tropical depressions by Thursday. At present, the long-range models are showing that both of these disturbances will not be a threat to any land areas over the next seven days, and will probably move too far north to ever be a threat to land.

Texas/Oklahoma heat wave sets all-time 100° records
The unprecedented heat wave gripping Texas and Oklahoma set several new all-time heat records yesterday. The high temperature hit 101° at the Houston Intercontinental Airport yesterday, the 22nd consecutive day of 100°+ heat and 33rd day of 100°+ heat in the city. Both are all-time records for the city. Oklahoma City recorded its 51st day of 100°+ temperatures yesterday, breaking the record for most such days in year, set previously in 1980. Temperature records for Oklahoma City date back to 1891.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Irene (LRandyB)
Ragged eye of Irene
Hurricane Irene
Tragic (rlwhipkey)
This is the scene around Lake Sam Rayburn. Dead fish every 20 yards or so and dead fresh water clams everywhere. The lake is 11 feet low and is losing about an inch a day.
Tragic

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1937. CCSoFLA79
10:46 AM GMT on August 24, 2011
she seems to be getting stronger again. Not good for the Bahamas
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 23
1936. druseljic
1:37 AM GMT on August 24, 2011
Wobble, wobble ...

Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 655
1935. msphar
1:16 AM GMT on August 24, 2011
Sapodilla Bay is probably not the most idyllic place right now.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
1934. msphar
1:14 AM GMT on August 24, 2011
I wonder how that Caicos sailor is doing tonight ?
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
1933. CaneHunter031472
12:57 AM GMT on August 24, 2011
Any word from Turks and Caicos island?
Member Since: August 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 202
1932. redwagon
12:42 AM GMT on August 24, 2011
Quoting Floodman:
Has anyone seen CRS in the last few hours?


Have you seen that wave almost halfway across Africa?
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3280
1931. Floodman
11:47 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Has anyone seen CRS in the last few hours?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1930. Floodman
11:46 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting liljade:
Could you share the link please?


This link geos to the FSU modeling collection and is generally out 120 - 160 hours:

FSU Modeling

They're a little slow to update on that one, but it does give a nice graphic representation.

This one:

E-Wall

Gives you some longer range solutions.

When I said pressure tendencies, what I meant was that, for example, the GFS shows a nasty storm at 10 days. Does that mean we;ll have a nasty storm at 10 days? Probably not, but the tendency will be there...lower pressures, etc. More of a heads up than anything even vaguely similar to a real solid forecast. Anyone who has a fair idea about tnis stuff knows you can't, with any certainty, predict a storm at that range...the best you can hope for is an idea about what the conditions will be.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1929. oceanblues32
11:34 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting BahaHurican:
Just a general comment for those who feel the storm hasn't turned west yet and thus might miss the forecast point. THE STORM'S NOT SUPPOSED TO TURN YET! lol..... Based on this morning's and this afternoon's forecast track, the turn is supposed to take place sometime tonight. And from my vague recollection, originally this WNW track was supposed to continue until about 78W or so... so the next 12 hours should be the ones to tell us how far west Irene goes.


If it goes west all the way to 78 then i guess so fl would be affected a lot more!!!
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 207
1928. leftlink
11:27 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting CharsletonAsrock:
do.


Thanks for the work you are doing.


You're very welcome.

By the way, pressure at 7:30pm EST reported as:

pine bay - 29.41
providenciales (almost same spot) - 29.53 or 29.48
great exuma - 29.94

These are not guaranteed to be accurate but by monitoring them regularly we can get an idea of the pressure change.
Member Since: December 28, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
1927. GeoffreyWPB
11:15 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11512
1926. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:53 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55493
1925. hurricanehunter27
10:50 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting rhiles2760:
From Twitter:
Live Now: the Space Station will fly over Hurricane Irene. Watch live views on NASA TV: http://go.nasa.gov/ax5PCk

Im probably just seeing things on that but is there an eye?
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3851
1924. rhiles2760
10:48 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
From Twitter:
Live Now: the Space Station will fly over Hurricane Irene. Watch live views on NASA TV: http://go.nasa.gov/ax5PCk

Member Since: May 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 58
1923. Skyepony (Mod)
10:42 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
AF302 took off from St Croix. If your in San Juan, PR that's who just flew over. They are beginning to descend into Irene. Kermit is flying ~8000' about to get a fix on Irene from the WW side.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 207 Comments: 39033
1922. hurricanehunter27
10:38 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
09L/H/I/C3
RI FLAG (flag)
MARK
21.00n/72.50w






ALWAYS FOLLOW NHC/TPC FORECASTS FOR ALL WARNINGS REGARDING THIS STORM
.... Yup here it goes, it will try for cat 4 status off this if not higher.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3851
1921. 1million
10:38 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting Grandpato4:
The earthquake is getting more attention than Irene on our news.


The Hurricane is still days away... you got plenty of time... that is the best thing about hurricanes... earthquakes just start shaking under your feet... tornadoes just as bad as they can just drop out of the sky... hurricanes... plenty of warning and they ALWAYS change where they are going, and ONLY effect a very small area with destruction... no matter how big there are... and to the right of the storm... with exceptions obviously with places like New Orleans etc... but up the east coast? relax... still plenty of time to see what it will do...

:-D
Member Since: October 22, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 118
1920. BahaHurican
10:34 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Okay, I have an important question.

Do you believe the models are too far east and that Irene will pass slightly more west than the models and the NHC are predicting?
I sure hope not. Even 40 miles west could make a bad situation worse.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22680
1919. JNCali
10:32 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
ECMWF still showing Irene nailing Cape Hatteras and proceding due North scouring the NE seaboard all the way up to New Brunswick... That is a whole lotta folks
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
1918. AstroHurricane001
10:30 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Anyone remember the last time a cat. 1 made landfall in State of New Jersey?
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
1917. liljade
10:25 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting Floodman:


About the best anyone can really do in the heat of the year for time frames that long is pressure tendencies
Could you share the link please?
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 59
1916. liljade
10:24 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Well, if it was either of the two, it would be bad, as the weakness is shifting west, so the storm's path would move west. However, the high was forecast to move west, the next shortwave trough will reinforce the weakness allowing Irene to move to the north.
How far west could it go? Into the Gulf? Just making sure GOMEX is safe.
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 59
1915. CaneHunter031472
10:24 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
18z Early Cycle NHC model tracks

Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)
Member Since: August 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 202
1914. FLWeatherFreak91
10:23 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


the orange color east of Irene is spinning and following Irene. What is it? Watch the 14km GOES East WV Loop, ULL OR TUTT?

I MUST BE ON IGNORE
It's an upper level low.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
1913. HurricaneHunterJoe
10:22 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting weaverwxman:
OK I know you didn't ask for it but heres my 2 cents worth anyway. Anyone living in the Bahamas or along the East coast of US. you still need to watch this storm. I will not discount a hit for S.Fl until it has passed 80 longitude at least. Not to say some have passed us and turned around like a mad dog and bit us. But that is a general rule of Thumb for me. A hurricane that affects any populated land area is not a FISH STORM there are a bunch of insensitive buttheads who think that if it doesn't hit the US its a fish. You all no who you are so just shut the heck up............I am sure the fine people of the Bahamas wish this could be a fish storm.


Why would you wait til Irene passes 80W to think she would not hit Florida? If she gets to 80 W, isnt she on top of Florida?
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5243
1912. CarolinaHurricanes87
10:20 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting LADobeLady:


He's being responsible. Why would you expect him to stick his neck out for you? Ultimately it is YOUR responsibility to decide what to do. Don't put it off on a well respected blogger.


You have a good point. Sorry levi lol. Going out for dinner... I'll be back to continue the watching and waiting
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 631
1911. LADobeLady
10:17 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


Given that the models are on a nearly perfectly matching paths going well east of here (and that western side impacts are much less), maybe, i dont know thats why im asking the question. I am hoping he'd give me his real answer and not just bs as to not look wrong later. Thats what the NHC, TWC and more publicly known places do... thats why im asking levi here on a blog.


He's being responsible. Why would you expect him to stick his neck out for you? Ultimately it is YOUR responsibility to decide what to do. Don't put it off on a well respected blogger.
Member Since: July 29, 2005 Posts: 21 Comments: 794
1910. HurricaneHunterJoe
10:17 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting charlottefl:
TCI's: 43mph gusting to 68

serious rain and wind!
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5243
1909. HurricaneHunterJoe
10:15 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting HondosGirl:


Thanks!I thought someone had said that we were looking for 78W or 79W for the turn. Just learning and thought maybe I had misunderstood.
that was a yesterday or the day before, the models seem to have drifted east some,so the turn may be sooner,perhaps 77-78w
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5243
1908. Floodman
10:15 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting JNCali:
how much storm surge would it take to flood the subways in NYC?


I read somewhere that a strong CAT 2 would do it
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1907. CarolinaHurricanes87
10:14 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting redux:


do you really expect a "respected" forecaster/blogger to tell you to ignore a hurricane before it passes you?



Given that the models are on a nearly perfectly matching paths going well east of here (and that western side impacts are much less), maybe, i dont know thats why im asking the question. I am hoping he'd give me his real answer and not just bs as to not look wrong later. Thats what the NHC, TWC and more publicly known places do... thats why im asking levi here on a blog.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 631
1906. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:13 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
09L/H/I/C3
RI FLAG (flag)
MARK
21.00n/72.50w






ALWAYS FOLLOW NHC/TPC FORECASTS FOR ALL WARNINGS REGARDING THIS STORM
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55493
1905. CosmicEvents
10:13 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting reedzone:


Me either.. The high pressure to the east will block Irene from escaping the East Coast. GFS even pulls it NW again after crossing Cape Hatteras.
Don't worry REED, even if clips the NE corner of Maine I'll give you credit for being right as right can be.
.
And this isn't a fish storm. It's already done damage in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and it's bearing down as we speak on the Turks and Caicos and Bahamas.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5672
1904. Floodman
10:12 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting Remek:

Ha! Good analogy! :)


LOL...thanks...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1903. zoomiami
10:10 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting rchira1:


***ALERT***


What happens if this storm continues on this wnw track and does not make that turn its supposed to make? Where would the storm hit? SOUTH FLORIDA ?


Remember Andrew. It was coming towards south florida but all of the computer models and weathermen said it would not hit south florida and it was going to make a turn away from s florida. the next morning, they said it missed the turn and now coming straight at south florida . everybody had less than 24 hours to get ready and that evening it came.


***Voice Your Opinions On This***


What you've said is absolutely true -- but is was also 19 years ago, and the technology that allows them to track the storms is different as night and day.

If you want to reassure yourself as to the accuracy, take the time to go back to the archives and look through all the cones for storms in the last 3 or 4 years. You will see that rarely inside the two day cone have they been wrong.

For anyone out there who is worried that things can change, its natural. It certainly has happened here in Miami more than once. That's why you don't over react, you just keep an eye out, and when its past us, breathe a big sigh of relief and get back to life.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4158
1902. Floodman
10:10 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting Meriweather:
I started using Wunderground just recently, and came across this blog. After spending hours on here daily in the last month, I finally decided to sign up. I do not know much about the science behind these radars or storms, so I must ask. How well does the GFS forecast storms 10-12 days out?? I was watching the forecast, and it looked to me like a storm begins to develop in the Gulf in about ten days. Is that correct?? Or is way to early to determine that??

Again, I'm very new to this, so please be nice. Thanks!


About the best anyone can really do in the heat of the year for time frames that long is pressure tendencies
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1901. HurricaneHunterJoe
10:09 PM GMT on August 23, 2011


the orange color east of Irene is spinning and following Irene. What is it? Watch the 14km GOES East WV Loop, ULL OR TUTT?

I MUST BE ON IGNORE
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5243
1900. Remek
10:08 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
New Blog Entry!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 118
1899. Levi32
10:07 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting AustinTXWeather:
If Irene misses NC and hits New England, will it be even stronger -- or is intensification potential between N. Carolina and New England negligible?



It would be weakening and would probably be a couple categories lower than it is off of North Carolina, but even a Cat 1 in New England would be bad.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26695
1898. Floodman
10:06 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting rkay1:
Your right on the money.  These computer models are a complete joke and I for one have lost complete confidence in them.  There is one thing to take from this all though.  Wherever they point to will be the area the storm does not go. 



Well said...so what would you use for prediction of general track and eventual landfall? The entrails of a goat? Tea leaves perhaps? Or one of the really old standards, mind altering substances, extreme physical deprivation and isolation? Maybe a non-spiritual method, perhaps standing on a tall tower with binoculars and looking out to sea?

As I see it, all of the above would be about equally effective, perhaps we should put each on a strip of paper and draw lots? I know which one I want...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1897. MyrtleCanes
10:06 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting ncstorm:


this is suspect to me..how can a weak trough turn a major out to sea?


Notice it says behind the Hurricane, meaning it is going to potential push the storm into the NE after pass us in the SE
Member Since: May 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
1896. oceanblues32
10:06 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
they just put a hurricane alert on my weather bug for broward county possible tropical storm force winds at times but squalls could move through and dangerous rip currents hope this things does not track any more west then it is suppose to i do not want anymore alerts!!
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 207
1895. JNCali
10:05 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
how much storm surge would it take to flood the subways in NYC?
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
1894. Fishaholic25fl
10:05 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
here in central florida....... I'm not taking my eye off irene untill she take here north turn..... thinking it will be a tad west of forecast though......
Member Since: August 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 166
1893. BahaHurican
10:05 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting leftlink:


Here is a link to a Tumblr page I just made with 4 personal weather stations from Southern Bahamas locations (Turks and Caicos and Emerald Bay):

Southern Bahamas - Live Weather Stations
Emerald Bay, Exuma is really central Bahamas. It should be a good location to monitor tomorrow.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22680
1892. TropicalAnalystwx13
10:05 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
NEW BLOG
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32686
1890. CaneHunter031472
10:03 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting masonsnana:
Still going <---- dat way Pat?


He's now going this way.
Member Since: August 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 202
1889. MississippiWx
10:03 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
ACE (Source) — Storm:
1 5.38 Irene

2 2.95 Bret

3 1.99 Emily

4 1.84 Cindy

5 1.63 Arlene

6 1.60 Gert

7 1.50 Don

8 1.24 Harvey

9 0.41 Franklin
Total: 18.5
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
1888. redux
10:03 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting CarolinaHurricanes87:


Levi, it didnt take me long to figure out you are one of if not the most respected blogger here.

I live and Wilmington... this morning woke up to the NHC showing a cat 4 on top of me... but now think I am pretty safe, based on the trends and the NHC projected path. Should I still keep a close eye on this and maybe stock up on supplies? I had pretty much felt safe after coming home from work seeing the update... is it too soon for that?


do you really expect a "respected" forecaster/blogger to tell you to ignore a hurricane before it passes you?

Member Since: June 28, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 233
1887. reedzone
10:01 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Quoting rkay1:
So you guarantee a direct hit by Irene somewhere?



Yes, it cannot escape.. unfortunately.. High Pressure will be too large and strong for a NE movement. I'm looking at Long Island to Cape Cod for direct landfall as of now, maybe further west. Irene hasn't strengthened much today and may lead to a further westward track, not by much though.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7429

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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.