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 reedzone:


Does that mean another EWRC?


It means the current EWRC which has been in progress since yesterday afternoon is nearing completion.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
Quoting ConnecticutWXGuy:


I think the whole theory that we are intentionally modifying the weather is still simply that... a theory. Until proven, these theories should be taken with not just a grain of salt, but a whole bag of salt. We have experimented, for sure. But all the HAARP theories and such are mostly advertised by crazies and 2012 conspiracy theorists who watch too much History Channel


Indeed.

My question is whether or not the path of Irene would lead any experts to believe that something odd occurred.

It's current forecast path seems to be almost outside of the cone of probability that the models were generating a few days ago.

Is there anything about the current path that would raise concern?
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Quoting nash28:


I would seriously re-think discounting the ECMWF. Look at the steering maps. There is a gap for Irene to get through, but not offshore like the models HAD been suggesting. Trough not deep enough to swing her.

Having said that, I am thinking a SC/NC border landfall more and more.


+100
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Hard to believe this.. After a swipe across the Outer Banks, Irene is still a 933 mlb. Category 4 storm heading towards.. umm.. NYC :/

96 hours.


EURO is east of it's last run.. Makes sense though, the weakness tugs her NNE for a couple hours then due north as the ridge in the Atlantic strengthens.
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Quoting equipoised:
Is there any chance that Irene was at all influenced by weather modification technology such as HAARP?

It seems to me like the forecasted path changed significantly over the last few days.

Here is an article that discusses this possibility: http://www.infowars.com/haarp-hurricane-irene-and- the-dc-earthquake-%E2%80%A6connected/

I appreciate the feedback and defer to the expertise of others on this blog. I live in Miami and was certainly a bit surprise about how far away this storm deviated from the probabilities earlier in the week.


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789. DFWjc
Surf is getting closer....


Link
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Quoting wxobsvps:


Atl high just won't give up


I know. Was really hoping to have a more pronounced weakness at this point, but alas, we do not.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
787. whitewabit (Mod)
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 25th day of the month at 18:06Z
Corrected: This observation corrected a previous observation.
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number & Year: 09L in 2011
Storm Name: Irene (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 21
Observation Number: 06
A. Time of Center Fix: 25th day of the month at 17:33:20Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 26°27'N 77°13'W (26.45N 77.2167W) (View map)
B. Center Fix Location: 96 miles (155 km) to the N (5°) from Nassau, Bahamas.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 2,666m (8,747ft) at 700mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 69kts (~ 79.4mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 43 nautical miles (49 statute miles) to the SW (234°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 315° at 82kts (From the NW at ~ 94.4mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 46 nautical miles (53 statute miles) to the SW (234°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 950mb (28.05 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 10°C (50°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,021m (9,911ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 17°C (63°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,049m (10,003ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 6°C (43°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Open, Open S thru W
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 35 nautical miles (40 statute miles)
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind and Pressure
N. Fix Level: 700mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 82kts (~ 94.4mph) in the southwest quadrant at 17:19:50Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind Outbound: 93kts (~ 107.0mph) in the northeast quadrant at 17:43:00Z
Maximum Flight Level Temp: 20°C (68°F) which was observed 15 nautical miles (17 statute miles) to the WSW (237°) from the flight level center
Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...
Clouds below in center
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12z ECMWF still hasn't backed off on intensity on approach to NC:

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Quoting P451:


As of now I would point more to Gloria of 85 for a similar situation as to what is unfolding with Irene.

We won't have a clue until she reaches Cape Hatteras. Will she ride the coast to JFK Airport. Will she swing east like Bob. Will she go inland through the mid-atlantic. Just can't tell.

Well, 12 hrs Irene, WV



I think she just wobbled west again...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
784. P451
Quoting Neapolitan:
Even if there's no wind and no surge, this looks like fun:

Click for large image:
rain


Yes, that's more than a foot of rain from Wilmington, NC, up to NYC.


14" of rain is going to do some pretty bad things. Keep in mind we've been getting hit rather hard with some large quick hitting rain events up here.

Instant flooding will occur as there is no where for the rain to go at this point. Rivers and streams are still very high or at their limits from the last week of storms.

And we're getting it today again as well.

Member Since: December 16, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 10202
Outter Banks of NC are gonna be re-arranged
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9648
Quoting NUChickens:


Just reposting this because it ended up on the last page... any suggestions? Thanks!


Hey! I live in the same area (Littleton) and we have an old house with the original windows. I'm assuming we won't need to worry about winds doing damage to them, since they'd be TS or minimal Cat 1.
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Quoting Smikey:


Stop reading this forum and contact the local emergency management office to get details on what are NYC's recommended preparations, and hurricane plans.


I'm from the gulf coast and I now live in NYC. Contrary to what some on the blog would have you believe, there are people here who are taking things seriously. My wife and I have preparations well underway, and I've seen drinking water come off of the shelves in several places. These are not the official steps, but are a blend of what I see on official websites and personal thoughts. Official information from the city government can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/storms_s afetytips.shtml

These are my thoughts for someone in New York City:

1. Check the NYC hurricane evacuation zone finder for your address. This will tell you whether or not you are in a zone that is likely to experience storm surge flooding. It is located here http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/storms_e vaczones.shtml

2. If you live in a high rise building, you are at a greater risk if you live above the 10th floor. The website linked indicates that you should be prepared to take shelter below the 10th floor.

3. Gather important documents, items, cash, credit cards, medications, etc. Even if you stay through the storm, you may be asked to leave afterward.

4. Make preparations to be self sufficient for a week. This should include food, water (potentially iodine tablets or unscented bleach for purification of water), medications, baby wipes, basic cleaning supplies, towels (to help with leaks) and basic home repair supplies (tarps, garbage bags, thick cardboard, duct tape, etc.) in the event that there is leakage or a window breaks/cracks in your home. The recommendations I've seen for water are 1-3 gallons/person/day. You definitely want non-perishable food that you don't have to cook for later in the period, but you don't have to entirely eat canned food. Fresh food purchased now (e.g. fruits/veggies) will last until early/mid next week even with no refrigeration. Also, even if you have a gas stove, the electric ignition may or may not work after the storm, so make sure you have an alternate way of lighting the stove. Additionally, if you live in a building that uses pumps to keep your tap water pressure up, it is adviseable to fill your bathtub with water to use for toilet flushing (probably not a bad idea to have a bathtub full of semi-clean water anyway).

5. Make sure you have a basic first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, a hardwired telephone (if you have telephone service), and a battery operated radio.

6. Ensure that all of your electronics are charged including cell phones, cameras (for pictures of damage), laptop computer (for charging cell phones), etc.

7. Make sure you have adequate supplies for your pets, if any.

8. Make sure that you have a communication plan for relatives/friends/loves ones. My wife and I will be cycling our cell phones on and off in order to preserve battery life. You want to communicate those plans to those who might try to contact you (so they don't call and get a busy signal or no pickup).

9. Check NYC, FEMA, and Red Cross websites for additional information.
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Quoting equipoised:
Is there any chance that Irene was at all influenced by weather modification technology such as HAARP?

It seems to me like the forecasted path changed significantly over the last few days.

Here is an article that discusses this possibility: http://www.infowars.com/haarp-hurricane-irene-and- the-dc-earthquake-%E2%80%A6connected/

I appreciate the feedback and defer to the expertise of others on this blog. I live in Miami and was certainly a bit surprise about how far away this storm deviated from the probabilities earlier in the week.


I think the whole theory that we are intentionally modifying the weather is still simply that... a theory. Until proven, these theories should be taken with not just a grain of salt, but a whole bag of salt. We have experimented, for sure. But all the HAARP theories and such are mostly advertised by crazies and 2012 conspiracy theorists who watch too much History Channel
Member Since: November 17, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 527
12Z EURO further east, missing North Carolina??

72 hours..
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Quoting MrstormX:
http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/nexdat/CONUS/focus_reg ions/East/Overview/vis_ir_background/goes/20110825 .1740.goes_13.visir.bckgr.East_Overview.DAY.jpg


Gorgeous - if only she wasn't so dangerous too!
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Quoting reedzone:


Does that mean another EWRC?


No still part of the current EWRC
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776. HiWay
Quoting reedzone:


Does that mean another EWRC?


It never finished the first, you mean "Still doing an EWRC?"
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Atl high just won't give up
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Quoting 53rdWeatherRECON:


Expanding her wind field by almost a 1/4 while going through an ewrc has made her look like she's weakend, confusing because the pressures have not risen, this is because it's not "dry air", as you can see in the navy water vapor image. When that eyewall is complete she's going to start puffing convection just like she did while transitioning from CAT2 to CAT3.


Plenty of dry air to the south and west of her. The circulation is huge and is easily pulling in air from the Gulf, which is fairly dry on that map.

Combine that with 10-20kts of southwesterly shear, and that's why we have a northeast-sided storm.
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12Z GFDL & HWRF
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772. CJ5
Quoting stevego:
have family on oak island vacationing refusing to leave cause local weatherman says nothing to worry about, do they have anything to worry about? Thanks a ton.


I would say that is extremely irresponsible and quite frankly very dumb. If it was my family, I would demand they leave. Now!
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
My brother works on the rigs in tx. After Ike came through he was flying over Houston in a helo and said it looked like a bomb went off. Too many big buildings in irenes path.
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Quoting Levi32:
Vortex message reports 950mb and an open eyewall south to west, which we have been seeing on visible and radar imagery. The eye is 35nm wide, suggesting that an outer eyewall has taken over completely.

000
URNT12 KNHC 251806 CCA
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL092011
A. 25/17:33:20Z
B. 26 deg 27 min N
077 deg 13 min W
C. 700 mb 2666 m
D. 69 kt
E. 234 deg 43 nm
F. 315 deg 82 kt
G. 234 deg 46 nm
H. 950 mb
I. 10 C / 3021 m
J. 17 C / 3049 m
K. 6 C / NA
L. Open S thru W
M. C35

N. 134 / 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF306 2109A IRENE OB 06 CCA
MAX FL WIND 82 KT SW QUAD 17:19:50Z
MAX OUTBOUND FL WIND 93 KT NE QUAD 17:43:00Z
MAX FL TEMP 20 C 237 / 15 NM FROM FL CNTR
Clouds below in center


Does that mean another EWRC?
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769. AVL
Quoting Speeky:
Kind of fearing for my life right now in NYC. What should I do?


Not sure how any people are in NYC, but I know its millions...Now imagine all of those people without power, ill prepared, trying to get to the remaining food in teh grocery stores only to find its gone and then they need to head out of the city to get food, no power=no gas Blah, blah, blah...

Don't mean to add fuel to the fire of fear, but if I were you I'd go on vacation for a few days well outside the city.
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This is how The Weather Channel is reporting. I swear...what does it take to simply acknowledge the existence of my area? lol
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Quoting stevego:
have family on oak island vacationing refusing to leave cause local weatherman says nothing to worry about, do they have anything to worry about? Thanks a ton.


ask the folks at Crystal Beach how that went..


ooops, they were all washed away, so you can't..
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2585
Is there any chance that Irene was at all influenced by weather modification technology such as HAARP?

It seems to me like the forecasted path changed significantly over the last few days.

Here is an article that discusses this possibility: http://www.infowars.com/haarp-hurricane-irene-and- the-dc-earthquake-%E2%80%A6connected/

I appreciate the feedback and defer to the expertise of others on this blog. I live in Miami and was certainly a bit surprise about how far away this storm deviated from the probabilities earlier in the week.
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Quoting ConnecticutWXGuy:
I am pretty experienced with most of the models, however I am not too familiar with the HWRF. How good is this model?

Also I feel like the ECMWF is a bit too far west, and it has been one of the western most models for this entire event. It is a well performing model, but regardless... I feel it is best for me to be semi-discounting this model, for the meantime. Any opinions on that?


I would seriously re-think discounting the ECMWF. Look at the steering maps. There is a gap for Irene to get through, but not offshore like the models HAD been suggesting. Trough not deep enough to swing her.

Having said that, I am thinking a SC/NC border landfall more and more.
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
Quoting TX2FL:


People think "its just like a blizzard"..smh.. even the emergency management government officials don't have any plans...

Yes, same here in RI. Gov. Chaffee said he's confident state emergency management agency is ready for Irene because they have experience from last winter's snow storms! Uh, really?? He grew up right on the bay...should know better, jeez.
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Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
Quoting ecflweatherfan:


In Merritt Island, still no rain... but I had a wind gust 20 minutes ago of 38 mph. And the NWS pointed that out well with their Hurricane Local Statement that locations along the intracoastal and nearshore waters (including the barrier islands) will likely see gusts to tropical storm force. The worst isnt even here yet, and I have been 1 mph shy. Makes me wonder what we are gonna get with the first squalls.
wind has alot more north in it the past hr
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Quoting ConnecticutWXGuy:
I am pretty experienced with most of the models, however I am not too familiar with the HWRF. How good is this model?

Also I feel like the ECMWF is a bit too far west, and it has been one of the western most models for this entire event. It is a well performing model, but regardless... I feel it is best for me to be semi-discounting this model, for the meantime. Any opinions on that?


I agree with that. Right now I'm putting my trust in the GFS and maybe even NOGAPS
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Here in Wilmington we are still only under a tropical storm watch, and should be on the weaker west side of the storm. I wish people in the outer banks much luck as this is shaping up to be disastrous for them
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Getting very concerned here on the NC/SC border!
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Expanding her wind field by almost a 1/4 while going through an ewrc has made her look like she's weakend, confusing because the pressures have not risen, this is because it's not "dry air", as you can see in the navy water vapor image. When that eyewall is complete she's going to start puffing convection just like she did while transitioning from CAT2 to CAT3.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Typhoon Nanmadol in the Western Pacific is beautiful. Hard to believe it's only 105mph...



It's likely a major now... when was the last update of the typhoon??
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Quoting reedzone:


Likely? Yes.. Though we've seen storms do strange things..


She has had struggles with her inner core from the first day she became a hurricane. Hopefully that will continue and she won't have time to do much before shear and dry air become more of a factor than they are presently.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
I am pretty experienced with most of the models, however I am not too familiar with the HWRF. How good is this model?

Also I feel like the ECMWF is a bit too far west, and it has been one of the western most models for this entire event. It is a well performing model, but regardless... I feel it is best for me to be semi-discounting this model, for the meantime. Any opinions on that?

I also find it interest that some models show a southerly jet developing north of the Hurricane. If knowledge serves me well, this usually tends to help tropical cyclones maintain strength. This would mean a stronger-than-forecast hurricane for New England. Certainly am not going to do any "wishcasting" or "doomcasting" based on that... it's just a thought.
Member Since: November 17, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 527
753. dader
Quoting stevego:
have family on oak island vacationing refusing to leave cause local weatherman says nothing to worry about, do they have anything to worry about? Thanks a ton.


Are you talking about Oak Island on Long Island- the natural barrier between the Atlantic and LI's South Shore? If you don't evacuate from there you are a complete idiot.
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Vortex message reports 950mb and an open eyewall south to west, which we have been seeing on visible and radar imagery. The eye is 35nm wide, suggesting that an outer eyewall has taken over completely.

000
URNT12 KNHC 251806 CCA
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL092011
A. 25/17:33:20Z
B. 26 deg 27 min N
077 deg 13 min W
C. 700 mb 2666 m
D. 69 kt
E. 234 deg 43 nm
F. 315 deg 82 kt
G. 234 deg 46 nm
H. 950 mb
I. 10 C / 3021 m
J. 17 C / 3049 m
K. 6 C / NA
L. Open S thru W
M. C35

N. 134 / 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF306 2109A IRENE OB 06 CCA
MAX FL WIND 82 KT SW QUAD 17:19:50Z
MAX OUTBOUND FL WIND 93 KT NE QUAD 17:43:00Z
MAX FL TEMP 20 C 237 / 15 NM FROM FL CNTR
Clouds below in center
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Wow...

Irene is one big mamajama...
Member Since: July 11, 2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
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*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 VieraChris:
2PM center puts it 231 miles from my doorstep in Viera, FL. Tropical storm force winds now extend up to 290 miles from center! Currently winds 25 gusting to 31 and sun shining as we wait on our first outer band!

Everyone from the Carolinas north: Be prepared, listen to your local EMC instructions, and stay safe!


In Merritt Island, still no rain... but I had a wind gust 20 minutes ago of 38 mph. And the NWS pointed that out well with their Hurricane Local Statement that locations along the intracoastal and nearshore waters (including the barrier islands) will likely see gusts to tropical storm force. The worst isnt even here yet, and I have been 1 mph shy. Makes me wonder what we are gonna get with the first squalls.
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
Quoting MississippiWx:
Irene likely has until around 30N-31N or so to get her core together and strengthen. If she is still about the same intensity-wise by then, she most likely won't get any stronger as shear should be on the increase at that time, along with the entrainment of continental air.



Likely? Yes.. Though we've seen storms do strange things..
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Quoting tiggeriffic:
NAVY on the move...ships going out to sea...


Go Navy, beat Army.... again!

The hot towers are popping up large in Pat's 675 post
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2585


NAO heading up.
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Quoting stevego:
have family on oak island vacationing refusing to leave cause local weatherman says nothing to worry about, do they have anything to worry about? Thanks a ton.


It could get bad there, but it is more likely to be bad farther N. Just tell them to listen to local emergency management.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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