Irene an extremely dangerous storm surge threat to the mid-Atlantic and New England

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:55 PM GMT on August 25, 2011

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Back in 1938, long before satellites, radar, the hurricane hunters, and the modern weather forecasting system, the great New England hurricane of 1938 roared northwards into Long Island, New York at 60 mph, pushing a storm surge more than 15 feet high to the coast. Hundreds of Americans died in this greatest Northeast U.S. hurricane on record, the only Category 3 storm to hit the Northeast since the 1800s. Since 1938, there have been a number of significant hurricanes in the Northeast--the Great Atlantic hurricane of 1944, Hazel of 1954, Diane of 1955, Donna of 1960, Gloria of 1985, Bob of 1991, and Floyd of 1999--but none of these were as formidable as the great 1938 storm. Today, we have a hurricane over the Bahamas--Hurricane Irene--that threatens to be the Northeast's most dangerous storm since the 1938 hurricane. We've all been watching the computer models, which have been steadily moving their forecast tracks for Irene more to the east--first into Florida, then Georgia, then South Carolina, then North Carolina, then offshore of North Carolina--and it seemed that this storm would do what so many many storms have done in the past, brush the Outer Banks of North Carolina, then head out to sea. Irene will not do that. Irene will likely hit Eastern North Carolina, but the storm is going northwards after that, and may deliver an extremely destructive blow to the mid-Atlantic and New England states. I am most concerned about the storm surge danger to North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the rest of the New England coast. Irene is capable of inundating portions of the coast under 10 - 15 feet of water, to the highest storm surge depths ever recorded. I strongly recommend that all residents of the mid-Atlantic and New England coast familiarize themselves with their storm surge risk. The best source of that information is the National Hurricane Center's Interactive Storm Surge Risk Map, which allows one to pick a particular Category hurricane and zoom in to see the height above ground level a worst-case storm surge may go. If you prefer static images, use wunderground's Storm Surge Inundation Maps. If these tools indicate you may be at risk, consult your local or state emergency management office to determine if you are in a hurricane evacuation zone. Mass evacuations of low-lying areas along the entire coast of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia are at least 50% likely to be ordered by Saturday. The threat to the coasts of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine is less certain, but evacuations may be ordered in those states, as well. Irene is an extremely dangerous storm for an area that has no experience with hurricanes, and I strongly urge you to evacuate from the coast if an evacuation is ordered by local officials. My area of greatest concern is the coast from Ocean City, Maryland, to Atlantic City, New Jersey. It is possible that this stretch of coast will receive a direct hit from a slow-moving Category 2 hurricane hitting during the highest tide of the month, bringing a 10 - 15 foot storm surge.


Figure 1. The scene in Nassau in the Bahamas at daybreak today. Image credit: Wunderblogger Mike Theiss.

Irene a Category 3 over the Bahamas, headed northwest
Hurricane Irene tore through the Bahama Islands overnight, bringing hurricane-force winds, torrential rains, and storm surge flooding to Crooked Island, Long Island, Rum Cay, and Cat Island, which all took a terrific pounding. Eleuthera and Abaco Island will receive the full force of Irene's eyewall today, but the eyewall will miss capital of Nassau. Winds there were sustained at 41 mph, gusting to 66 mph so far this morning, and I expect these winds will rise to 50 - 55 mph later today. Wunderblogger MIke Theiss is in Nassau, and will be sending live updates through the day today. Winds on Grand Bahama Island in Freeport will rise above tropical storm force late Thursday morning, and increase to a peak of 45 - 55 mph late Thursday afternoon. Grand Bahama will also miss the brunt of the storm. Irene is visible on Miami long-range radar, and the outer bands of the hurricane are bringing rain to Southeast Florida this morning.

Irene is currently undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle, where the inner eyewall collapses, and a new outer eyewall forms from a spiral band. During this process, the hurricane may weaken slightly, and it may take the rest of today for a new eyewall to fully form. Satellite imagery shows a lopsided pattern to Irene, with less cloud cover on the storm's southwest side. This is due to upper level winds from the southwest creating about 10 - 20 knots of wind shear along the storm's southwest side. We can hope that the shear will be strong enough to inject some dry air into the core of Irene and significantly weaken it today, but I put the odds of that happening at only 10%. The most likely scenario is that Irene will complete its eyewall replacement cycle later today or on Friday, then begin intensifying again. Wind shear is expected to stay moderate, 10 - 20 knots, for the next three days, ocean temperatures are a very warm 29°C, and Irene has an upper-level high pressure system on top of it, to aid upper-level outflow. None of our intensity forecast models show Irene growing to Category 4 strength, though the last 4 runs of the ECMWF global model--our best model for forecasting track--have intensified Irene to a Category 4 hurricane with a 912 - 920 mb pressure as it crosses over Eastern North Carolina.

Track forecast for Irene
The models have edged their tracks westwards in the last cycle of runs, and there are no longer any models suggesting that Irene will miss hitting the U.S. The threat to eastern North Carolina has increased, with several of our top models now suggesting a landfall slightly west of the Outer Banks is likely, near Morehead City. After making landfall on the North Carolina coast Saturday afternoon or evening, Irene is likely to continue almost due north, bringing hurricane conditions to the entire mid-Atlantic coast, from North Carolina to Long Island, New York. This makes for a difficult forecast, since a slight change in Irene's track will make a huge difference in where hurricane conditions will be felt. If Irene stays inland over eastern North Carolina, like the ECMWF and GFDL models are predicting, this will knock down the storm's strength enough so that it may no longer be a hurricane once it reaches New Jersey. On the other hand, if Irene grazes the Outer Banks and continues northwards into New Jersey, like the GFS model is predicting, this could easily be a Category 2 hurricane for New Jersey and Category 1 hurricane for New York City. A more easterly track into Long Island would likely mean a Category 2 landfall there.

Category 2 landfalls may not sound that significant, since Hurricane Bob of 1991 made landfall over Rhode Island as a Category 2, and did only $1.5 billion in damage (1991 dollars), killing 17. But Irene is a far larger and more dangerous storm than Bob. The latest wind analysis from NOAA/HRD puts Irene's storm surge danger at 4.8 on a scale of 0 to 6, equivalent to a borderline Category 3 or 4 hurricane's storm surge. Bob had a much lower surge potential, due to its smaller size, and the fact it was moving at 32 mph when it hit land. Irene will be moving much slower, near 18 mph, which will give it more time to pile up a big storm surge. The slower motion also means Irene's surge will last longer, and be more likely to be around during high tide. Sunday is a new moon, and tides will be at their highest levels of the month during Sunday night's high tide cycle. Tides at The Battery in New York City (Figure 3) will be a full foot higher than they were during the middle of August. Irene will expand in size as it heads north, and we should expect its storm surge to be one full Saffir-Simpson Category higher than the winds would suggest.


Figure 2. Predicted tides for the south shore of New York City's Manhattan Island at The Battery for Sunday, August 28 and Monday, August 29. High tide is near 8pm EDT Sunday night. Tidal range between low and high tide is 6 feet on Sunday, the highest range so far this month. A storm surge of 10 feet would thus be 10 feet above Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW, the lowest tide of the year), but 16 feet over this mark if it came at high tide. Image credit: NOAA Tides and Currents.

Irene's storm surge potentially extremely dangerous for the mid-Atlantic coast
Irene's large size, slow motion, arrival at high tide, and Category 3 strength at landfall in North Carolina will likely drive a storm surge of 8 - 10 feet into the heads of bays in Pamlico Sound, and 3 - 6 feet in Albemarle Sound. As the storm progresses northwards, potential storm surge heights grow due to the shape of the coast and depth of the ocean, though the storm will be weakening. If Irene is a Category 1 storm as it crosses into Virginia, it can send a storm surge of 4 - 8 feet into Chesapeake Bay and Norfolk. I give a 50% chance that the surge from Irene in those locations will exceed the record surges observed in 2003 during Hurricane Isabel. The region I am most concerned about, though, is the stretch of coast running from southern Maryland to Central New Jersey, including Delaware and the cities of Ocean City and Atlantic City. A Category 1 hurricane can bring a storm surge of 5 - 9 feet here. Irene's large size, slow movement, and arrival at the highest tide of the month could easily bring a surge one Category higher than the storm's winds might suggest, resulting in a Category 2 type inundation along the coast, near 10 - 15 feet. This portion of the coast has no hurricane experience, and loss of life could be heavy if evacuation orders are not heeded. I give a 30% chance that the storm surge from Irene will bring water depths in excess of 10 feet to the coasts of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.


Figure 3. The height above ground that a mid-strength Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds would push a storm surge along the Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey coasts 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 2 storms with different tracks. Thus, no single storm will be able to cause the level of flooding depicted in this SLOSH storm surge image. Consult our Storm Surge Inundation Maps page for more storm surge images of the mid-Atlantic coast.


Figure 4. The height above ground that a mid-strength Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds would push a storm surge along the New Jersey coast in a worst-case scenario. Water depths could reach 6 - 8 feet above ground level in Ocean City and Atlantic City, and up to 16 feet along less populated sections of the coast.

Irene's storm surge may flood New York City's subway system
The floodwalls protecting Manhattan are only five feet above mean sea level. During the December 12, 1992 Nor'easter, powerful winds from the 990 mb storm drove an 8-foot storm surge into the Battery Park on the south end of Manhattan. The ocean poured over the city's seawall for several hours, flooding the NYC subway and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) train systems in Hoboken New Jersey. FDR Drive in lower Manhattan was flooded with 4 feet of water, which stranded more than 50 cars and required scuba divers to rescue some of the drivers. Mass transit between New Jersey and New York was down for ten days, and the storm did hundreds of millions in damage to the city. Tropical Storm Floyd of 1999 generated a storm surge just over 3 feet at the Battery, but the surge came at low tide, and did not flood Manhattan. The highest water level recorded at the Battery in the past century came in September 1960 during Hurricane Donna, which brought a storm surge of 8.36 feet to the Battery and flooded lower Manhattan to West and Cortland Streets. However, the highest storm surge on record in New York City occurred during the September 3, 1821 hurricane, the only hurricane ever to make a direct hit on the city. The water rose 13 feet in just one hour at the Battery, and flooded lower Manhattan as far north as Canal Street, an area that now has the nation's financial center. The total surge is unknown from this greatest New York City hurricane, which was probably a Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds. NOAA's SLOSH model predicts that a mid-strength Category 2 hurricane with 100-mph winds could drive a 15 - 20 foot storm surge to Manhattan, Queens, Kings, and up the Hudson River. JFK airport could be swamped, southern Manhattan would flood north to Canal Street, and a surge traveling westwards down Long Island Sound might breach the sea walls that protect La Guardia Airport. Many of the power plants that supply the city with electricity might be knocked out, or their docks to supply them with fuel destroyed. The more likely case of a Category 1 hurricane hitting at high tide would still be plenty dangerous, with waters reaching 8 - 12 feet above ground level in Lower Manhattan. Given the spread in the models, I predict a 20% chance that New York City will experience a storm surge in excess of 8 feet that will over-top the flood walls in Manhattan and flood the subway system. This would most likely occur near 8 pm Sunday night, when high tide will occur and Irene should be near its point of closest approach. Such a storm surge could occur even if Irene weakens to a tropical storm on its closest approach to New York City.


Figure 5. The height above ground that a mid-strength Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds would push a storm surge in a worst-case scenario in New York City.


Figure 6. Flooded runways at New York's La Guardia Airport after the November 25, 1950 Nor'easter breached the dikes guarding the airport. Sustained easterly winds of up to 62 mph hit the airport, pushing a large storm surge up Long Island Sound. The storm's central pressure bottomed out at 978 mb. Image credit: Queens Borough Public Library, Long Island Division.

The rest of New England
The entire New England coast is at high danger of receiving its highest storm surge in the past 50 years from Irene, though the exact locations of most danger remain unclear. If North Carolina takes a bullet for us and reduces Irene below hurricane strength before the storm reaches New England, the surge will probably not cause major destruction. But if Irene misses North Carolina and arrives along the New England coast as a hurricane, the storm surge is likely to cause significant damage. I urge everyone along the coast to familiarize themselves with their storm surge risk and be prepared to evacuate should an evacuation order be issued.

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.

The National Hurricane Center's Interactive Storm Surge RIsk Map, which allows one to pick a particular Category hurricane and zoom in, is a good source of storm surge risk information.

Wunderblogger Mike Theiss is in Nassau, and will be sending live updates through the day today.

Landstrike is an entertaining fictional account of a Category 4 hurricane hitting New York City.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Tropical Depression Ten in the far Eastern Atlantic 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.

Portlight mobilizes for Irene
The Bahamas have been hit hard by Irene, and unfortunately, it appears that the Northeast U.S. may have its share of hurricane victims before Irene finally dissipates. My favorite disaster relief charity, Portlight.org, is mobilizing to help, and is sending out their relief trailer and crew to the likely U.S. landfall point. Check out this blog to see what they're up to; donations are always needed.

Jeff Masters

Irene in the Dominican Republic (DRHT)
Flooding caused by Heavy Rains from Irene making the Rivers Rise and flooding nearby communities.
Irene in the Dominican Republic
Irene in the Dominican Republic (DRHT)
Flooding of the River Nigua in the Dominican Republic and people that were forced to leave their homes behind.
Irene in the Dominican Republic
Hurricane Irene (LRandyB)
The sun peeking over the top of the eyewall
Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene (LRandyB)
By the fourth pass, Irene had a pretty well developed eyewall
Hurricane Irene

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Quoting tiggeriffic:


Evacuation advice no, but things to get to be ready...absolutely...there are things i learned from being in Hugo that are NOT on the list of things to do in the Hurricane Guide...LOTS of things... like turning off ice makers because the water may not be safe when the power comes back on and it would contaminate what you do have...things like fill every gap in your freezer with bottles of water to keep it colder...things like turn it down to coldest setting 24 hrs before storm to help keep it colder longer... things like cover the fridge and freezer with blankets after the storm to help insulate them...things like that are NOT in the little pamphlet the give out at the store or anywhere else... but they help...
I always mow the grass before I evacuate. Makes cleaning all of the limbs and leaves in the yard a lot easier.
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1144. 1Banana
Despite the threat of the oncoming hurricane, deputy principal press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that Obama has no plans at this time to cut his vacation short, either to avoid the effects of the storm or devote his time to managing emergency response. Obama and his family are scheduled to end their Martha’s Vineyard vacation on Saturday, August 27.
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Hurricane Irene could have a devastating impact in New Jersey, the state climatologist said today.

If Irene “moved right over New Jersey, we could be just devastated,” said David A. Robinson, the New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University.

Gov. Chris Christie today declared a state of emergency in New Jersey, clearing the way for state officials to deploy resources, including the National Guard, and other resources to counties and towns.

Christie is considering mandatory evacuations, but he’s asking people to not go to the Jersey Shore this weekend. People in rental properties should leave today or Friday, according to Christie.

Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s Mount Holly office, agreed with Robinson that Irene could be devastating in New Jersey.

“Again, the track of the storm has shifted closer to the coast, so we’re looking at the potential for sustained hurricane-force winds along the New Jersey coast,’ Szatkowski said.

“We’re looking at the (potential) for record coastal flooding along the coast as the storm surge comes along with the hurricane,” he said.

He’s most worried about the high tide on Sunday morning, he said.

The high tide in the ocean at Seaside Heights will be at 7:11 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Ocean Service.

Even more serious is the rainfall threat, Szatkowski said.

Very heavy rainfall of up to a foot over inland areas would produce “catastrophic flooding,” he said. “It’s a very, very serious situation.”
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1142. Levi32
Open eyewall to the south and steady pressure:

000
URNT12 KNHC 251936
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL092011
A. 25/19:17:10Z
B. 26 deg 41 min N
077 deg 15 min W
C. 700 mb 2676 m
D. 70 kt
E. 305 deg 38 nm
F. 052 deg 73 kt
G. 307 deg 55 nm
H. 950 mb
I. 10 C / 3056 m
J. 17 C / 3045 m
K. 5 C / NA
L. Open S
M. C30

N. 12345 / 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF306 2109A IRENE OB 11
MAX FL WIND 92 KT NE QUAD 18:11:10Z
MAX OUTBOUND FL WIND 99 KT SE QUAD 19:26:30Z
Clouds below in center, sfc cntr not visible
Max SWS outbound 74kts 19:28:30Z SE Quad
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
Quoting TheMom:
**Presslord or Patrap** can someone please post the link to the surge predictions site? Thanks


it's in Jeff's blog
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Dare peninsula as well! small world haha, I'm at CNU but we have to evacuate it today. Coming home to make sure the house is good to go.


Very small world indeed! I'm a Grad student at ODU. Getting the house ready as well. Wondering if Dare or Lakeside will even be passable...preparing to be stuck for a LONG time, hah
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Reed Timmer is going to Cape Fear, NC. He is still leaving New England target open in case model goes into major shift to east. I think Reed Timmer is trying to record datas from vortexes spawn by Irene.
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Quoting P451:



My post is not for Long Island, who know what they need to do to prepare, it is for the inland portions of NY and NJ. For us the difference between a sunny day and hurricane force winds will be as little as 40 miles in track variation.

When Earl passed we had a light breeze on the Jersey shore. 30 miles offshore a ship had 60mph sustained winds and torrential rains. Given that yes you need to pinpoint a landfall point and track in order for those who will be on the western side of the storm to know what they will receive.

This is why so many are complacent when it comes to these situations. Time and again doom is forecast, the storm shifts a mere 50 miles, and we have sunshine.

Storms behave quite differently when they reach this region as oppose to the South or GOM. They decay, they lose half their core and resemble extratropical storms in appearance, their western sides collapse to a very tight gradient.

Long Island knows what they need to do and are doing it as are all the local beach communities which are no stranger to strong and severe coastal storm events.

Full scale evacuation of Long Island? This isn't Galveston where Ike went through. Long Island has elevation.

This is not Katrina. This is not the fish bowl of New Orleans. This is not a clear path over hot ocean water plowing into a coastline.

There are a lot of different factors that change what these systems produce in a region up here.

Widespread panic isn't the answer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QNa3nvGsgQ they are good

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[IMG]http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q212/jenill umine/WUNIDS_map.gif[/IMG]
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Dare peninsula as well! small world haha, I'm at CNU but we have to evacuate it today. Coming home to make sure the house is good to go.


AT least you don't have to go through the HRBT
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1135. TheMom
**Presslord or Patrap** can someone please post the link to the surge predictions site? Thanks
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The Latest
*Click on graphics to enlarge (once clicked on they can be further enlarged in the new window by clicking on them)


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Quoting VAstorms:


Where is that stated?


you can see current recon data on google earth
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The 161 seems....way, way, way, way to ugh for a system with a clouded eye and a partial eyewall
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Quoting BobinTampa:


did he give any advice during Ike that contradicted local authorities or the NHC? And Dr. Masters, Angela, and Rob are the only people that should give out that type of advice on here.

There are others like weatherguy, chucktown, and some others - but a newbie to the blog wouldn't know that. And THAT is why people shouldn't come to the COMMENTS section of a blog for advice on life or death decisions.


welll, yes and no.. he supported the NHC, and disagreed with Neil Frank who, in my opinion, got some folks killed because he disagreed with storm surge estimates. His reputation as former head of the NHC, and who was my hero as a kid, superseded the NHC advisories. The Mayor of Galveston Island did not order evacuations because of his advice, and if Ike had come ashore 30 miles south, thousands may have died.

For the record, I agree with your points, just not the delivery and blanket coverage of the statement. Here, like everywhere in life, one must ALWAYS sift information for truth and value.
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1130. Vero1
Quoting JeffM:
Did Granpato4 evacuate? He sure spent a lot of time reassuring himself all day yesterday that he was not going to get hit.

Hopefully he left!
He hasn't been on all day.
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1129. ssmate
Quoting aliinmiami:
Been a lurker for years - but now have a question. Am supposed to head up from Miami to Maine tomorrow (I know - how ironic, not getting Irene here so heading to where it is) and scheduled to fly home from Boston on Sunday at 3pm - any thoughts on timing for Irene to pass through Boston? Really can't afford to get stuck up there!

Unless it's a funeral of a close relative. Don't go. Why would you put yourself in that position?
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1128. Seastep
BobinTampa - There is some advice you cannot get from official sources nor mets.

So this blog is a better place to ask than the guy at the local bar, wouldn't you agree?
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Quoting weatherdogg:


Knock it off, bro. There are lives at stake. Someone even said 78.6W earlier, which is way off.


first off i am no BRO...second...someone else posted them and i was referring to them...lastly...they were predicted numbers by one of the models...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
1126. NEwxguy
Evacuate Long Island????
Ok,someone's having some fun at the expense of serious situation
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Quoting 53rdWeatherRECON:


Diurnal Cycles, the daily maximum temperature generally occurs between the hours of 2 P.M. and 5 P.M. and then continually decreases until sunrise the next day.



Not when something is over the water. Peak heating, e.g. instability over land is generally between 2PM and 5PM, however over water, it works differently. The instability over water is caused when the airmass just above the SB (surface boundary) cools after sunset, creating a larger differential between surface (ocean) and airmass just above. Peak instability typically occurs over the ocean between 2AM and 8AM, until the sun begins to heat the surface boundary. I notice it all the time, here in FL. During the day, thunderstorms die out over the Gulf Stream, while they develop over the mainland... and then once the sun sets, the thunderstorms die out over the mainland, and redevelop over the Gulf Stream later that night. Make sense?
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
Quoting Dragod66:
161 mph surface winds on recon?


Where is that stated?
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Quoting weatherdogg:


Knock it off, bro. There are lives at stake. Someone even said 78.6W earlier, which is way off.


I posted those numbers, so if you have a problem it is with me. That is the TVCN model, one that is often mentioned by NHC in their forecast discussions and their track is often very close to it.
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I am ok here on Provo, this is my first trip out from house, no power or phone at home.
Irene was the worst hurricane I've been through. Only damage at my house was loss of some shingles. I am at pharmacy using wifi, I fried the charging cube for this iPad, with surge from generator, so I will not post much, even if I get wifi.
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1121. JeffM
Did Granpato4 evacuate? He sure spent a lot of time reassuring himself all day yesterday that he was not going to get hit.

Hopefully he left!
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@1044. TPaul
Yep, now all you arm-chair quarterbacks / 2nd-guesser's, who criticize how New Orleans LA. handled Katrina evac's, can tell everyone how to handle Irene! For Katrina, they evac'd 80 % of the residents in two days, starting a day late! Most of the rest did not want to leave. How are you going to do that on Long Island? And when do you decide? Hindsight is SO 20/20.
@1049. SCwannabe
Yep drove past 100's of those FEMA trailers in S. LA parked in a huge lot, 2 weeks ago. They are a little moldy, guess they better air them out before they haul them up there. ;)

Most folks should leave anyway, not fun living in a house for weeks with no Electricity in the summer time, even if your life is not at risk. Family in Baton Rouge did that after Gustav. Glad I talked my 80 year mom into staying with us in DFW. They stayed until it looked like Rita was going to make her way up here.
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1118. Ineluki
Hmm...

Crews to build giant sand pyramid at Virginia Beach

Hear it's because of worries about storm surge at that particular spot. Haven't heard if they're doing this anywhere else.
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 55
Quoting tiggeriffic:


Evacuation advice no, but things to get to be ready...absolutely...there are things i learned from being in Hugo that are NOT on the list of things to do in the Hurricane Guide...LOTS of things... like turning off ice makers because the water may not be safe when the power comes back on and it would contaminate what you do have...things like fill every gap in your freezer with bottles of water to keep it colder...things like turn it down to coldest setting 24 hrs before storm to help keep it colder longer... things like cover the fridge and freezer with blankets after the storm to help insulate them...things like that are NOT in the little pamphlet the give out at the store or anywhere else... but they help...


Ok,we're actually on the same page there. But it's more fun arguing!! :)
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Quoting NJ2S:


Where was that taken?


The first time I saw it, 6 years ago, it was supposed to be somewhere along Lakeshore in New Orleans; now that it's been recycled, proabaly somewhere in San Juan
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Quoting ThisEndUp:


True, Isabel was barely a Cat 1 when she rolled through, if I recall correctly. Voluntary evacuation for Sandbridge starting at Noon tomorrow, I think...this is certainly gonna get ugly. Beginning to wonder if the Dare Peninsula here in York County can handle the surge...will depend heavily upon Irene's track. Good luck to you guys in VB, though, you're gonna need it.


Isabel briefly strengthened to CAT 1 over the oceanfront but my gauge on Great Neck never went over 70-mph.
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The center of Irene is Now cleared of the Bahamas the Next hit will not be till Saturday lots of open sea infront of her now
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1112. ncstorm
it amazes me sometimes of people's lack of commonsense..

Dozen rescued at Wrightsville Beach as rip currents build
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14451
Quoting Dragod66:


if that turned out to be correct, witch i think is highly unlikely, irene would be cat 5 right?


Yes, but they are not correct.
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So sorry, ignore my comment about Oz...just went to his blog...didn't realize he was banned from WU. Must have missed something!
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Quoting weatherdogg:


Knock it off, bro. There are lives at stake. Someone even said 78.6W earlier, which is way off.


Dude...AL 09
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Quoting BenInHouTX:
Anybody know what Irene's ACE is right now? She should be getting close to surpassing the rest of the season's storms combined I would believe.

Irene's ACE is 12.1, and the whole season is 25.3. Which means Irene ACE is almost more than all of the other storms combined!
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Been a lurker for years - but now have a question. Am supposed to head up from Miami to Maine tomorrow (I know - how ironic, not getting Irene here so heading to where it is) and scheduled to fly home from Boston on Sunday at 3pm - any thoughts on timing for Irene to pass through Boston? Really can't afford to get stuck up there!
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Quoting kathyvb:


I have a feeling we're going to get hammered here in Va. Beach...during Isabel the wind was'nt even hurricane strength and look at the damage. And thats not counting tidal flooding or storm surge..I really feel bad for the folks in Sandbridge too. And our neighbors to the south and north too.


I agree totally. It took us more than a week to get power back after Isabel and lots of roof, tree and fence damage with about 70-mph winds.
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Those definitely aren't reliable readings imo, just look at the rest of the data set.

000
URNT15 KNHC 251916
AF306 2109A IRENE HDOB 23 20110825
190530 2706N 07750W 6966 02950 9790 +121 +048 039064 065 060 002 00
190600 2705N 07749W 6968 02941 9788 +119 +049 036066 067 072 007 03
190630 2704N 07747W 6970 02933 9788 +112 +049 038069 070 060 002 00
190700 2702N 07746W 6965 02931 9782 +111 +049 039068 071 064 010 00
190730 2701N 07745W 6975 02909 9796 +088 +048 038066 068 063 021 00
190800 2700N 07743W 6967 02909 9777 +095 +047 036063 065 063 015 00
190830 2658N 07742W 6965 02904 9756 +106 +045 035062 063 059 010 00
190900 2657N 07740W 6964 02895 9741 +111 +044 036065 065 061 008 00
190930 2656N 07739W 6969 02881 9733 +108 +044 036067 067 061 006 03
191000 2655N 07737W 6967 02874 9718 +114 +044 037068 068 063 004 00
191030 2654N 07736W 6967 02861 9706 +114 +044 034068 069 067 002 03
191100 2653N 07734W 6967 02847 9707 +101 +044 035070 070 120 004 03
191130 2652N 07733W 6967 02838 9693 +103 +044 033067 068 123 011 03
191200 2651N 07731W 6965 02831 9674 +110 +045 032066 067 083 002 03
191230 2650N 07729W 6971 02814 9639 +133 +047 033064 065 140 005 03
191300 2649N 07728W 6963 02813 9625 +133 +048 032065 067 /// /// 03
191330 2648N 07726W 6963 02796 9611 +132 +049 031067 069 /// /// 03
191400 2647N 07724W 6967 02774 9597 +126 +051 037063 065 /// /// 03
191430 2647N 07723W 6961 02763 9576 +129 +051 039058 061 061 004 03
191500 2645N 07721W 6967 02740 9549 +140 +052 035045 049 058 009 03
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BobinTampa:


It's moot not mute and this is a place to:

a) get Dr. Masters take on the tropics, and
b) discuss the tropics amongst ourselves.

It is NOT a place to get evacuation advice. Plain and simple. If local authorities were telling you to evacuate but Levi (one of our more knowledgeable commenters) was saying you'll be fine where you are, what would you do?

I think the world of Levi, but I'm getting out of dodge.


Evacuation advice no, but things to get to be ready...absolutely...there are things i learned from being in Hugo that are NOT on the list of things to do in the Hurricane Guide...LOTS of things... like turning off ice makers because the water may not be safe when the power comes back on and it would contaminate what you do have...things like fill every gap in your freezer with bottles of water to keep it colder...things like turn it down to coldest setting 24 hrs before storm to help keep it colder longer... things like cover the fridge and freezer with blankets after the storm to help insulate them...things like that are NOT in the little pamphlet the give out at the store or anywhere else... but they help...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
I am confident that a good many people are going to heed their local warnings.

It could be a major disaster or a minor inconvenience - but you never know for sure since every storm is so unique. Challenge is people either completely by-in to the worst case scenario or they completely ingnore it.

For Katrina, 90% of the area was prepared and/or evacuated. It was actually only the remaining 10% that you saw on the news.

There is always going to be at least 10% that are in denial, blissful ignorance, or just plain stubborn

I'll just say this one last thing - I have never read a Jeff Master's Blog that had so much concern stressed for a storm. He is usually pretty calm.
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Quoting tiggeriffic:
AL 09 2011082518 03 TVCN 24 305N 780W


ummmm...i really don't like those numbers please


Knock it off, bro. There are lives at stake. Someone even said 78.6W earlier, which is way off.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dunkman:
I think the SFMR is a little broken...

Time: 19:12:30Z
Coordinates: 26.8333N 77.4833W
Acft. Static Air Press: 697.1 mb (~ 20.59 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 2,814 meters (~ 9,232 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 963.9 mb (~ 28.46 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 33° at 64 knots (From the NNE at ~ 73.6 mph)
Air Temp: 13.3°C (~ 55.9°F)
Dew Pt: 4.7°C (~ 40.5°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 65 knots (~ 74.8 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 140 knots* (~ 161.0 mph*)
SFMR Rain Rate: 5 mm/hr* (~ 0.20 in/hr*)


To me, at least, that looks like a classic eyewall vortex reading, not a broken radar. They won't use it to set the intensity of the cyclone, but if one of these blunders over your house, you won't particularly care.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


No corelation to flight level winds, they are also close to or over land. Highly suspect.


if that turned out to be correct, witch i think is highly unlikely, irene would be cat 5 right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1095. 1Banana
Quoting MrstormX:
Fresh 12z Japanese model...not looking good for the Eastern Seaboard.



Thanks for posting this Japanese model. I like how clear and concise it is.
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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.