Powerful Category 3 Irene enters the Bahamas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:49 PM GMT on August 24, 2011

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Powerful Category 3 Hurricane Irene stormed through the Turks and Caicos Islands overnight, bringing hurricane-force winds, torrential rains, and storm surge flooding. On Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where half of the population of these islands live, winds reached a sustained 65 mph at a personal weather station at Pine Cay, and the pressure bottomed out at 989 mb. The eyewall of Irene missed the island, with the center of the storm passing about 60 miles to the southwest. The center of Irene passed about 60 miles to the northwest of Grand Inagua Island, and Category 1 hurricane conditions were probably experienced on that island. Damage in the Turks and Caicos is likely to be much less than the $50 - $200 million wrought by Category 4 Hurricane Ike of 2008, since Irene's eyewall missed populated islands.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Irene.

Monday, Irene hit Puerto Rico as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds, but reached hurricane strength as it emerged into the Atlantic northwest of the capital of San Juan. One drowning death is being reported from the island, and the storm dumped up to 20 inches of rain in some areas. About 11% of the island was still without power this morning, and numerous roads were closed due to flooding and landslides. Irene did an estimated $17 million in damage to agriculture and $2 million to ports in Puerto Rico. Satellite estimates suggest that Irene has brought only 1 - 2 inches of rain to Haiti. With Irene now pulling away from Hispaniola, Haiti can expect only another 1 - 2 inches from the hurricane, and appears to have dodged a major bullet. Heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches were common across the Dominican Republic, where moderate flooding but no deaths occurred.


Track forecast for Irene
Continuing dropsonde missions by the NOAA jet have helped to significantly narrow the uncertainty in the 1 - 3 day forecasts from the computer models. Irene will track through the central Bahamas today, the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday, and approach the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday. However, the models still diverge considerably on their 4 - 5 days forecasts, and we don't know if Irene will plow up the mid-Atlantic coast into New Jersey, as the GFDL model is predicting, hit New England between Long Island, NY and Massachusetts, as the ECMWF, GFS, and HWRF models are predicting, or miss the U.S. and hit Canada, as the NOGAPS model is predicting.

Intensity forecast for Irene
Latest data from the Hurricane Hunters shows that Irene has paused in its intensification cycle. A gap has opened in the eyewall, and the central pressure has remained constant at 956 - 957 mb over the past few hours. However, the hurricane is embedded in a large envelope of moisture, and wind shear is expected to remain low to moderate, 5 - 20 knots, for the next three days. With water temperatures very warm, 28 - 30°C, these conditions should allow for intensification to a Category 4 storm sometime in the next two days. Satellite loops show that Irene is well-organized, with excellent upper-level outflow, and impressive spiral banding.

Irene's impact on the Bahama Islands
Irene is making a direct hit on Crooked Island (population 350) in the Bahamas, and will continue west-northwest and hit Rum Cay (population 80) and Cat Island (population 1700) late tonight. These unfortunate islands will bear the full brunt of Irene's 115+ mph winds and 8 - 13 foot storm surge, and suffer major damage that will take months to recover from. Major damage is also likely on Long Island (population 3000) and San Salvador Island (population 1000.) Shortly after midnight tonight, winds at the capital of Nassau, home to 70% of the population of the Bahamas, will rise above tropical storm force, and increase through the night. By late morning on Thursday, sustained winds will peak on Nassau at just below hurricane force, 60 - 70 mph. Nassau will miss the brunt of the storm, and I expect the airport should be able to re-open on Friday. Winds on Grand Bahama Island in Freeport will rise above tropical storm force late Thursday morning, and increase to a peak of 45 - 60 mph late Thursday afternoon. Grand Bahama will also miss the brunt of the storm, but Abaco Island to its east will likely experience Category 2 hurricane conditions Thursday afternoon. However, Abaco will probably miss the right front eyewall of Irene with the strongest winds and highest storm surge.


Figure 2. Wind distibution around Irene as of 1330 UTC (9:30am EDT) August 24, 2011. Irene was a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds at the time. Hurricane force winds (yellow colors) extended over Crooked Island to the storm's northwest, and over Mayaguana Island to the east. Image credit: NOAA/AOML. Irene is a large storm, and its potential storm surge damage rated 3.9 on a scale of 0 to 6, with its wind damage potential rated at 2.5 on a scale of 0 to 6.

Irene's impact on the Southeast U.S.
Long-period ocean swells from Irene will reach the coast from Florida to North Carolina tonight, and continue to build as the storm approaches. The outermost rainbands of the hurricane will reach South Florida by Thursday morning, and spread over much of the eastern coastal portion of Florida during the day Thursday. If Irene follows the official NHC forecast through the Bahama Islands, the storm's expected radius of tropical storm-force winds of 130 - 170 miles will keep tropical storm conditions just off the east coast of Florida. Sustained winds of 20 - 30 mph can be expected along the coast of Florida during Irene's point of closest approach, and rainfall amounts of 1 - 2" will be common along the coast. Georgia, which could use the rain, will get very little. It is unlikely any airport in Florida or Georgia will need to close for Irene.

Late Friday night or early Saturday morning, Irene's outer spiral bands will move over the southern coast of North Carolina and the northeastern portion of South Carolina, and tropical storm-force winds of 39+ mph will arrive. Winds will steadily increase to hurricane force on the Outer Banks by Saturday night. The main damage from Irene in North Carolina will come from the storm's flooding rains of 4 - 12" that will fall in coastal areas. Fortunately, this region is under moderate to severe drought, so the damage will not be as severe as that experienced during Hurricane Floyd of 1999. Significant wind damage can be expected in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and considerable storm surge damage may occur along the shores of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. If Irene's eye misses making landfall in North Carolina, total damage from the storm should be less than $200 million, and could be considerably less than that.


Figure 3. Sea surface temperatures for August 24, 2011. Temperatures of 26°C (79°F) are typically needed for a hurricane to maintain its strength (black line). This boundary lies just off the southern coast of New Jersey this year, which is much farther north than usual.


Figure 4. Predicted 5-day rainfall for the period ending Monday morning, August 29, at 8am EDT. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Irene's impact on the mid-Atlantic and New England
The impact of Irene on the mid-Atlantic and New England is highly uncertain at this point, because we don't know if the core of the storm will miss the coast or not. In general, the heaviest rains will fall along a 100-mile swath just to the west of where the center tracks, and the worst wind and storm surge damage will occur to the east. If the core of Irene stays offshore, the mid-Atlantic and New England may escape with a few hundred million dollars in damage from flooding due to heavy rains and storm surge. If Irene hits Long Island or Southeast Massachusetts, the storm has the potential to be a $10 billion disaster. Irene is one of those rare storms that has the potential to make landfall in New England as a Category 2 or stronger hurricane. It is difficult for a major Category 3 or stronger hurricane crossing north of North Carolina to maintain that intensity, because wind shear rapidly increases and ocean temperatures plunge below the 26°C (79°F) level that can support a hurricane. We do expect wind shear to rapidly increase to a high 30 - 50 knots once Irene pushes north of Delaware, which should knock the storm down by at least 15 - 30 mph before it reaches New England. However, this year sea surface temperatures 1 - 3°F warmer than average extend along the East Coast from North Carolina to New York. Waters of at least 26°C extend all the way to Southern New Jersey, which will make it easier for Irene to maintain its strength much farther to the north than a hurricane usually can. During the month of July, ocean temperature off the mid-Atlantic coast (35°N - 40°N, 75°W - 70°W) averaged 2.6°F (1.45°C) above average, the second highest July ocean temperatures since record keeping began over a century ago (the record was 3.8°F above average, set in 2010.) These warm ocean temperatures will also make Irene a much wetter hurricane than is typical, since much more water vapor can evaporate into the air from record-warm ocean surfaces. The latest precipitation forecast from NOAA's Hydrological prediction center shows that Irene could dump over 8 inches of rain over coastal New England.


Figure 5. Soil moisture profiles from yesterday show that a region of very moist soils ranking in the top 1% in recorded history (dark green colors) lie over northern New Jersey, Southeast New York, and Northeast Pennsylvania. Image credit: NOAA/CPC.

Tropical storm-force winds and heavy rains will move into Eastern Virginia Saturday afternoon, and push northwards to Delaware and coastal Maryland by late Saturday night. Tropical moisture through a deep layer of the atmosphere will also stream well ahead of Irene into New England on Saturday afternoon and evening, bringing what is called a "Predecessor Rain Event" (PRE). The Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia airports will be right at the edge of the heavy rain and high wind area, and it currently appears they will not have to close for an extended period. The Philadelphia and New York City airports may not be as lucky, and it is possible they will suffer extended closures Sunday morning and afternoon. By late Sunday night, Irene's rains will move north of New York City, allowing the airports to re-open. The highest potential for damaging fresh-water flooding is in northern New Jersey, Southeast New York, and Northeast Pennsylvania, where soil moisture is near record high levels, and there is nowhere for the rain to go (Figure 5.) Heavy rains of 4 - 12" are likely across all of coastal New England if Irene passes within 100 miles of shore.

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
A tropical wave far out in the eastern Atlantic about 200 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, Invest 90L, is showing signs of organization. NHC is giving this disturbance a 50% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday. Several of our models do develop 90L into a tropical storm by early next week, but long-range models are showing that this system 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.

Internet radio show on Irene at 4:30pm EDT today
I'll be discussing Hurricane Irene on a special edition of our Internet radio show, the Daily Downpour, today (Wednesday) at 4:30pm EDT. Fellow wunderground meteorologists Shaun Tanner, Tim Roche, and Angela Fritz will also be there. Listeners can email in or call in questions. The email address to ask questions is broadcast@wunderground.com.

Jeff Masters

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I don't know what's worse. The FL wishcasters or the people who CONSTANTLY complain about them. Seems the complainers outnumber the casters by far. Ignore and move on....
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Quoting NCSaint:


Interesting you say this Reed. What are your thoughts on the potential influencing low the NHS mentioned in the 1100 update? When do you suspect that to become a factor? Pre- or Post- OBX? These variables are the ones worrying me, living on the SE coast of NC. Even a "Jog" will have HUGE impacts on the crystal coast.

Thanks in advance


The trough they are referring to won't be in place until Saturday. The effects of that trough being further north or south will determine whether Irene takes a northern or northestern track post NC. ie..Irene's New England impact.

Irene's expected effects on NC should be fairly solid late tonight early tomorrow.

Be safe.
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Quoting odinslightning:



now that is idiotic....to wish for a hurricane....u know what that would do with the dryness of your soil? MASS flooding like Haiti......


be careful what u all wish for....

What about like Allison.. a slow moving storm that just bring up rain slowly for 3or 4 days
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Quoting jpsb:


My favorite tool


http://my.sfwmd.gov/sfwmd/common/images/weather/s atfloat.html


was pointing right at NYC for a while, I grew up in LL and I remember hurricanes hitting LL in the 50's. I think Fema lists an NYC hit by a major as one of it's worst case storm scenarios.

hmmm, wonder why there is a space between the s and the a in my link, gonna try a href and see if that fixes it


link


Wow, it looks like Irene has feeder bands almost all the way into Colombia
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
12Z CMC




Pretty sure the tracks get smoothed out when you compared it with the "raw" output that we usually see on the FSU page, etc...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
Quoting NCSaint:


And before those types start the attack.....I am only asking about the potential timing of those short-waves mentioned by credible sources as potential impacts on Irene's track. Yes I have a personal interest in the answer due to my location, but not because I'm wishing it would shift west. I wish the opposite!! But the reality is that those impulses aren't being compensated for in the beloved model guidance, through no fault of the models themselves.


Well storms like to go under or north of ULLs depending on their location. In this case, Irene is further south of the ULL, and if the ULL does not weaken, Irene would continue heading NW/WNW with west wobbles. The ULL has to move away and weaken in order for "the turn" to occur. It makes the forecast really difficult and challenging.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7396
See, forecast keeps shifting eastward... maybe NYC won't get a big hit
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
No, what I am saying is we had coastal flooding & erosion in Destin and the beaches on the panhandle from Katrina... some serious erosion, enough to damage some beachfront homes.
So as it has been said, everyone along the coast should remain alert.


What I was talking about was this. ;)

Quoting CycloneBoy:Ummm, Katrina hit Florida...

369. Beachfoxx 5:24 PM GMT on August 24, 2011 +1
Not directly, but the impact from Katrina caused flooding & serious beach erosion along the FLORIDA PanHandle.




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I'm not sure there's much point in posting this, since most regular users of this forum lie in hurricane country - the Caribbean islands, Florida, and the Gulf Coast. But the best case scenario for landfall with Irene is the most southerly possible. Areas that deal frequently with hurricanes have stricter codes, much better public awareness, and regular preparation. They also have trees that are regularly pruned by storms.

I'm hoping this storm blows out to sea. Short of that, I'd like to see it come on land as soon as possible. But the 12Z model runs are, frankly, terrifying - CMC and GFDL both show this coming ashore as a reasonably strong hurricane over Eastern Long Island/Rhode Island. Given this storm's increasing IKE, that's pretty much a worst-case scenario. It can deteriorate to a Cat 1-2, but it'll still have a huge windfield, and it will be accelerating rapidly northward as it makes landfall. That will tack some considerable force on to the strongest sustained winds in the northeast quadrant of the storm - the Long Island Express seems to have received a 50mph+ boost from this effect. More worryingly, it will pile water on shorelines and bays that haven't seen anything like this for nearly seventy-five years.

Adjusted for wealth-normalization, there have been five more costly storms in American history - the two Galveston hurricanes, Andrew, Katrina, and the Great Miami storm. People know about those disasters, and when a storm seems even like the vaguest of echoes, panic sets in. Well, this storm looks increasingly like #6 on the list. It's not going to be as bad - the 1938 'cane peaked as a Cat 5, hit at a lunar high tide, accelerated to a highly unusual degree, and caught most residents unawares. But on the other hand, the coastline is far, far more densely populated today than it was at the time. Equivalent flooding would be a devastating blow to the decaying industrial towns along the coast line - New London, Providence, Fall River, New Bedford - with their poorly-maintained infrastructure and limited resilience.

So forgive me if I'm not particularly interested in the large numbers of Floridians looking for reassurance that the storm won't suddenly teleport itself seventy miles to the west. I'm far more concerned in where this storm is predicted to go than where it's not.
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Wow, satellite shows Irene made two landfalls on Crooked Island, that can't be good for that little island.
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3059
Quoting SeaMule:
wake up people. what happens if this becomes a Gilbert or Andrew? ummmm.....it will IGNORE the pull north...and maintain it's general heading.

In physics....any object in motion tends to stay in that general motion. and since Irene is getting stronger and stronger...the models may miss that fact, and she will in fact..maintain the wwnw heading....kick slightly wwnw..

and take out Miami....



I was asking that question earlier but never really got an answer from some of the expert bloggers (i.e Levi). But don't stronger canes also tend to go more poleward-North?
Member Since: August 14, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 535
Previous forecasts(even guarantees)of certain doom for Florida, Georgia, SC....sorry.
.
But, we do have doom going on right now in the Bahamas, and tomorrow. After that NC could get clipped. Of much greater concern is after that and the threat to Long Island and points North. Even NYC is a possibility, and that would be cataclismic. I'm personally alerting everyone I know in the Notheast to be prepared. Hopefully the cyclone will stay off the populated areas...move off.....and then all eyes can turn to the African waves again.
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12Z CMC


Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11215
irene has kept moving 0.4 degrees north and 0.5 degrees west.. if this continues these should be the next set of coordinates:
23.2 74.8
23.6 75.4
24.0 75.9
24.4 76.4
24.8 76.9
The farthest west irene can get before moving north north west is 76.9 or 77 degrees west connect the dots from there and you can estimate a landfall area. this is not guranteed but is very consistent now
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Quoting superweatherman:
Does anyone have a clue when this High pressure in Texas may move or come to an end... 105F this weekend in Houston...We need a Hurricane over hear.. at this point i don't care if we have another Ike.



now that is idiotic....to wish for a hurricane....u know what that would do with the dryness of your soil in texas? MASS flooding like Haiti......


be careful what u all wish for....
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524. HiWay
Quite the random question here. Since the moon control the tides; do the phases of the moon have a significant role (if it is even known?) on the tracking of larger storms in the oceanic basins? If so which, if any, models take this into account?
Member Since: August 17, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 55
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey, back in for a while.

Just one thing.... can someone please ask the American media to tone down the melodramatic comments about the Bahamas being "devastated" and "slammed"? It's going to get bad, but let's wait so see for sure that this is what happens, instead of, as Bahamians say, "puttin' mout' on us".... lol




A reasonable request that will fall on deaf ears as long as there are advertising spots to sell.
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90L is very close to becoming TD10, if it's not already.



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Quoting NOLAInTheEye:


That wobble looks pretty impressive

It's wobbling back to the north now... take a look at the latest satellite.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Not directly, but the impact from Katrina caused flooding & serious beach erosion along the FLORIDA PanHandle.


It hit SE Florida when it was a Cat 1.
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Can Irene be considered an annular Hurricane?

Are there some eye closeups?
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000
ABNT20 KNHC 241743
TWOAT

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT WED AUG 24 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON MAJOR
HURRICANE IRENE...LOCATED NEAR CROOKED ISLAND IN THE BAHAMAS.

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 1200 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST
OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS
AND THUNDERSTORMS. ALTHOUGH THE LOW IS MOVING WEST-NORTHWESTWARD
AT ABOUT 15 MPH TOWARD WARMER WATERS...UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE
CURRENTLY UNFAVORABLE FOR SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT. THIS SYSTEM HAS
A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAVE BECOME MORE CONCENTRATED NEAR AN AREA
OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED A COUPLE HUNDRED MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE
CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR GENERALLY
FAVORABLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING THE
NEXT DAY OR TWO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH CHANCE...60 PERCENT... OF
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES
WESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH.
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Irene looksto be heading anywheres from 295 to 300. Oriented my compass on my map,thats what i got:/
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4487
Quoting DVG:
I was wondering about a couple things. First does the low east of Ga have to be demolished for the predicted effect of the troughs to take place?

Second, watching the eastern US infrared 2 loop, I see something and was wondering as to whether it's related to the bermuda high. At about 72 long and 37 lat extending to 55 long, there is a dark, I don't know what to call it except is it an air mass?

So is this dark area moving north part of the blocking atlantic ridge?


I believe Drakoen touch this one... In my words, the ULL which is elongated (NE to SW) from SC to the FL Panhandle is being enhanced by Irene's outflow. This ULL should in theory lift out and the weakness left behind should serve as a path for Irene to move through, but if it doesn't move then tells you that the steering is stagnant enough that Irene would keep heading NW to WNW (at times) since the it would be drown to it and could bring it closer to the coast, but there are other possibilities too.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4977
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


This close:


time line please...what day is than...can't see it on the map..and TIA ...i think :/
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Quoting Bayside:
Looks like the surge in the Chesapeake Bay is starting to show up on this model... ugh.


UGH is right, Bayside.
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513. 7544
when u have a cat 4 right off your coast you cant let your gaurd down untill it passes you latitude that all
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6860
It'll be good to get the G4 dropsonde data in, and see how they affect the models. Time will tell, but FL not out of the woods yet, pretty close, but not yet....
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey, back in for a while.

Reports from the southeastern Bahamas suggest that the storm is doing a fair amount of damage; we are hearing so far of a few full / partial roof loss, some power outage, and downed trees. So far so good in terms of surge and flooding. However, we haven't been able to hear from Acklins and Crooked Island for a couple of hours.

Most of the other Family Island residents along the track of the storm are completing their preparations and getting ready to wait out the storm.

As I drove through Nassau today I notice that many homes and some businesses have not been battened up. I sure hope the population's trust in the forecast track is not in error....

Conditions here are sunny and breezy. I'm sure Thrawst has been keeping you up todate...

Just one thing.... can someone please ask the American media to tone down the melodramatic comments about the Bahamas being "devastated" and "slammed"? It's going to get bad, but let's wait so see for sure that this is what happens, instead of, as Bahamians say, "puttin' mout' on us".... lol





I'm honestly really concerned about Nassau, too small of a margin or error there...Hope everyone is ready..
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90L code red. On its way to tropical depression status it would seem. Initial tracks do not show a threat to land.....HOWEVER, we saw how incorrect Irene's initial predictions were, so this one still certainly needs to be monitored.
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Blog Update:
Hurricane Irene Video Update
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508. jpsb
Quoting cat5hurricane:

NYC getting hit or impacted by a major is highly unlikely.


My favorite tool


http://my.sfwmd.gov/sfwmd/common/images/weather/s atfloat.html


was pointing right at NYC for a while, I grew up in LL and I remember hurricanes hitting LL in the 50's. I think Fema lists an NYC hit by a major as one of it's worst case storm scenarios.

hmmm, wonder why there is a space between the s and the a in my link, gonna try a href and see if that fixes it


link
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Quoting GetReal:


Ever so slightly to the left of NHC official track.

I see it was also a little east of the fortrack path- what makes them wobble and do eyewall replacements make them wobble more?
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Quoting Gorty:


Damaging winds for me too in western Mass.


Ya definitely, but if you guy's end up on the Western side of the storm, heavy rainfall could be a huge problem for you. Regardless, Hurricane force winds in MA would do so much tree damage that people would likely be without power for 2+ weeks. I was without power for over two weeks in Northeast MA from the ice storm in 08.
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Quoting GetReal:


Ever so slightly to the left of NHC official track.


That wobble looks pretty impressive
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Quoting TropicalXprt:


it would be like feeding fireballs to an infant.


Did you go to analogy.com for that?
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Hey, back in for a while.

Reports from the southeastern Bahamas suggest that the storm is doing a fair amount of damage; we are hearing so far of a few full / partial roof loss, some power outage, and downed trees. So far so good in terms of surge and flooding. However, we haven't been able to hear from Acklins and Crooked Island for a couple of hours.

Most of the other Family Island residents along the track of the storm are completing their preparations and getting ready to wait out the storm.

As I drove through Nassau today I notice that many homes and some businesses have not been battened up. I sure hope the population's trust in the forecast track is not in error....

Conditions here are sunny and breezy. I'm sure Thrawst has been keeping you up todate...

Just one thing.... can someone please ask the American media to tone down the melodramatic comments about the Bahamas being "devastated" and "slammed"? It's going to get bad, but let's wait so see for sure that this is what happens, instead of, as Bahamians say, "puttin' mout' on us".... lol



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502. HCW
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Quoting reedzone:


Kind of wondering that myself... If I say something like it may have Irene head more west, I'd be called a wishcaster. I'm already getting attacked on here by people saying I disappeared after my forecast was pooped.. Not true. I originally had Irene NOT entering the GOM when others were sold on it. I wouldn't say my forecast of Irene being a EAST COAST problem would be off. Cut the crap guys and grow up. This NOT referring to the one I am quoting :)


And before those types start the attack.....I am only asking about the potential timing of those short-waves mentioned by credible sources as potential impacts on Irene's track. Yes I have a personal interest in the answer due to my location, but not because I'm wishing it would shift west. I wish the opposite!! But the reality is that those impulses aren't being compensated for in the beloved model guidance, through no fault of the models themselves.
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Quoting miguel617:
I find it amusing how wishcasters watch a few frames of satellite images plus throw in some of their gut feeling and then make a prediction of how the hurricane is moving and then say the models are all wrong.

Folks, the models are generated using supercomputers, some being in the top 100 in the world. They take data from satellites, ocean buoys, air recon, global weather balloons, and after much processing, spit out their predictions.

Don't look like a fool thinking you can outdo a supercomputer using your armchair forecasting techniques.






As a friend who used to program and work with Crays said, "The computer can't look out the window or check a micrometer, it is quick, but not smart." We used to say "GIGO". BTW, my first computer was a "SAGE".
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499. Jax82
Not sure if this has been posted, but here is a cool Movie of Irene from nasa.gov 1600 UTC Aug 22nd til now. Its from Nasa GOES 13. Check it out. It takes a few minutes to load and you'll need Quicktime.

GOES 13 Irene Movie

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Quoting ILwthrfan:
Hey MississippiWx! Been missing the fun this morning if you want to call it fun... How far west you think she'll get before she's head'n true North?


Yeah, I've been too busy to be on much today. About to have to had back out in a few.

Anyway, Irene has been wobbling all over the place this morning, but that's fairly common for an intense hurricane. When you average out all of the wobbles, it's still on more of a WNW path. As far as my opinion, I don't see any reason to go away from the NHC path. The parade of shortwave troughs moving across the Great Lakes and Northeast won't allow Irene to move much more to the west than what the NHC is showing. At any rate, once she starts on a more true NW to NNW heading, you'll pretty much know how far west she'll get. At that time, she'll start picking up speed and eventually bend more to the NNE. I think the biggest questions remain on when she makes a more NNE movement. I think a direct hit to the Outer Banks is still very possible. We'll see.
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Quoting 69Viking:


Not so sure about that, didn't we have rumors of porn on here today? I don't every remember that happening in the past!


not a rumor...ummm...yeah...it happened...ummm... idk what to say other than it happened
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496. HCW
2pm

...IRENE A LITTLE STRONGER...EYE OVER CROOKED ISLAND...


SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.7N 74.3W
ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM SE OF LONG ISLAND BAHAMAS
ABOUT 250 MI...405 KM SE OF NASSAU
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...120 MPH...195 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...954 MB...28.17 INCHES
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Flight/Dropsonde pattern for this afternoon's Synoptic Surveillance Mission



Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11215
494. ADCS
Quoting miguel617:
I find it amusing how wishcasters watch a few frames of satellite images plus throw in some of their gut feeling and then make a prediction of how the hurricane is moving and then say the models are all wrong.

Folks, the models are generated using supercomputers, some being in the top 100 in the world. They take data from satellites, ocean buoys, air recon, global weather balloons, and after much processing, spit out their predictions.

Don't look like a fool thinking you can outdo a supercomputer using your armchair forecasting techniques.








At the same time, the computers are bound by a fundamental restriction: garbage in, garbage out. In chaotic systems such as the weather, the inadvertent addition or deletion of a small bit of seemingly-insignificant data can fundamentally alter the computers' ability to run meaningful calculations.

Those "gut feelings," on the other hand, may also be the product of 4.5 billion years of evolution aimed in part at successfully surviving disasters such as hurricanes. Some may not conform to reality, but others may come about as the result of unconscious perception of atmospheric conditions and the like.

Ultimately, even the most science-driven forecasting comes down to a call based on something separate from pure logic: whether the data represents something meaningful about an unknown and chaotic future. In other words, good forecasters don't blindly follow the computers.
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BULLETIN
HURRICANE IRENE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 17A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092011
200 PM EDT WED AUG 24 2011

...IRENE A LITTLE STRONGER...EYE OVER CROOKED ISLAND...


SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...22.7N 74.3W
ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM SE OF LONG ISLAND BAHAMAS
ABOUT 250 MI...405 KM SE OF NASSAU
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...120 MPH...195 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...954 MB...28.17 INCHES
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2:00 Advisory is in... winds up to 120, pressure officially down to 954.



DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
THAT THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 120 MPH...
195 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. IRENE IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE
ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME ADDITIONAL
STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO AND IRENE COULD
BECOME A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE BY THURSDAY.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 50 MILES...85 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 205
MILES...335 KM.

THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT WAS 954 MB...28.17 INCHES.
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Does anyone have a clue when this High pressure in Texas may move or come to an end... 105F this weekend in Houston...We need a Hurricane over hear.. at this point i don't care if we have another Ike.
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490. hamla
winds now 120 mph and gom blocking high moving west via wx channel
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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.