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 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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Just reading the blog over the past several hours, I am finding it amazing that some employers aren't takiing this thing seriously. I think alot of people and their employers underestimate the power of nature.

If your in one of these areas that look to be directly imapacted with Hurricane conditions....LEAVE....Otherwise you could very possibly be signing your DEATH warrant....

If you decide to stay make sure you let someone know where you are....

I keep remember the people calling 911 during Katrina pleading for help from the operator during the storm saying they were going to die and the operator told them their was nothing they could do and they should have left before the storm arrived..... DON'T BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!!!!
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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.

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Quoting carcar1967:







Fire Phasers, Photon torpedoes full spread


"The dilithium crystals canna take it, Cap'n!".
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Things to Do - Near forgotten Lessons from Katrina

1. One of the main items that people tend to forget to protect when preparing for a hurricane is important documents (medical, financial - Taxes, birth, proof of residence, and insurance) and photos

2. Don't underestimate the strain on the power grid - and if you lose electricity, you lose water!

3. Number one lesson from Katrina that everyone was reminded of a couple of days ago during the earthquake is that cell phones will get so congested that vary few will get through. Texting worked periodically.

If you are in the line of the storm, post your plans to Facebook/Twitter the day before so your friends and family from around the country/world don't worry as much about you.
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Quoting WeafhermanNimmy:
Excited heading to New Bern, NC area to chase this hurricane. Leaving Greensboro, NC tmrw aft.


HEY! I'm in Raleigh and was looking for someone to chase with me. Are you going alone?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
holy we mother of cows


wow


IRENE IS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND
OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL
STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 290 MILES...465 KM.



Classic Taz.

Big Storm.
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Quick question: Normally, when the outer bands of a hurricane are going over an area, there is talk of a threat of weak tornadoes. Yet, with Irene, living in South Florida, I have heard no mention of even a possibility of an isolated tornado. Why is that? TIA.
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Quoting Patrap:
The 1938 Hurricane, by the Works Project Administration - During this storm, Frank Schubert, last keeper of Coney Island Light, was aboard the buoy tender ship Tulip, which was thrown aground on top of some train tracks by the storm.





Great video!
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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.
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Quoting Jax82:
I still think its crazy to see a Major Hurricane and the eye on Miami radar, and no watches and warnings for FL, i know why there isnt any, but its still crazy non the less.


NHC forecast predictions can often be in significant error. For example, Irene was forecast to travel over Hispaniola, then into Florida.

When the steering currents are weak and complex, predictions are potentially flawed. However, when hurricanes get into the area where Irene is now, the fact is that they are steered by the Bermuda high and troughs to the west of the high and the Coriolis force. The computers and their modellers have a very good handle on all of this and there is little potential for surprises, although a trough did appear unexpectedly in northern Canada, which caused the modellers to make adjustments.

The predictions won't be far out and there's next to no chance of Irene hitting Florida.
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Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery


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733. mbjjm
Experimental FIM Model Date: 25 Aug 2011 - 12Z












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Quoting MrstormX:


Yep a little wobble, will correct back N though.


Correct. Slight wobbles are fine. What we DO NOT want to see is a 4 or 5 hour WNW movement.

No thank you.
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holy we mother of cows


wow


IRENE IS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND
OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL
STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 290 MILES...465 KM.

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Quoting Torgen:


Don't FORGET:

Someplace to poop.
LOL don't worry I think their pants will get the brunt when she arrives...
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Quoting Autistic2:
I think Irine id going to wobble about 40-70 miles closer to the Fl. east coast than the NHC is showing. Meaning I think she is going to stay in the wester and not souther part of "The Cone".



????????????????????????????????????
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NAM forecast reflectivity and MSLP
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Quoting P451:


Yeah people are rather blaise about it. I've told a few people that it's coming but we cannot pinpoint a forecast until Saturday AM.

This is very true as we need to see the storm hit NC and see how it responds from there. Only then can you accurately predict a hurricane's path towards NYC.

It could be a Floyd scenario for us up here. It could be a Gloria. Or it could be a Bob.

And there were huge differences between the three. So difficult to predict a pinpoint landfall this far north more than 24 hours out.

As of this early afternoon it would appear Irene is now on a steadier course and seems it is out of any steering influence the islands can have to her core.

Now the question is where does it landfall in NC. From there you predict what the upper mid-atlantic and new england can expect. No sooner.


Love your maps and illustrations btw.. People are just not taking this storm seriously, they're even getting annoyed with the media and people that are telling them about it. Unfortunately alot of lives will be lost this weekend due to the ignorance and pride of the people up there who just don't want to believe how serious Irene is.
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Quoting wunderweatherman123:

?? we had a la nina last year from july 2010 to may 2011 we had neutral from may 2011 to now? are we still neutral or now another la nina again? and will an el nino form anytime soon?


We will most likely be in a La Nina through the winter of 2011.
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ATCF's 1800z update has Irene down to 95 knots:

AL, 09, 2011082518, , BEST, 0, 265N, 772W, 95, 950, HU, 64, NEQ, 70, 60, 25, 50, 1008, 300, 30, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, IRENE, D,

But she looks to be restrengthening, so this is probably temporary.
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I think Irine is going to wobble about 40-70 miles closer to the Fl. east coast than the NHC is showing. Meaning I think she is going to stay in the westen and not southern part of "The Cone".
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 455
Hurricanes and Your Health and Safety

* The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts caused by flying glass or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails, metal, or glass, and bone fractures.
* State and local health departments may issue health advisories or recommendations particular to local conditions. If in doubt, contact your local or state health department.
* Make sure to include all essential medications -- both prescription and over the counter -- in your family's emergency disaster kit.


* Hurricanes, especially if accompanied by a tidal surge or flooding, can contaminate the public water supply. Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume that the water in the hurricane-affected area is safe to drink.
* In the area hit by a hurricane, water treatment plants may not be operating; even if they are, storm damage and flooding can contaminate water lines. Listen for public announcements about the safety of the municipal water supply.
* If your well has been flooded, it needs to be tested and disinfected after the storm passes and the floodwaters recede. Questions about testing should be directed to your local or state health department.

Water Safety

* Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
* If you don't have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
* If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
* If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.
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Typhoon Nanmadol in the Western Pacific is beautiful. Hard to believe it's only 105mph...

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On another unrelated note, it rained in downtown Austin for about ten minutes. Or maybe I dreamed it. Back to hot and sunny now. Forecast high for Saturday 110 degrees.
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Visible imagery shows that Irene's eyewall is completely open to the south, and the storm has the overall look of one which is struggling hard with dry air entrainment. If the EWRC completes then we will likely see more strengthening. For now, it is actually impressive that Irene is maintaining intensity and continuing to drop her pressure by a millibar or so every few hours.
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here is a tidbit to remember...make sure you turn the ice maker off in your freezer (if you have one) when it starts getting bad...many times when power and water come back on it is NOT safe to drink. If you leave it on to your freezer you could contaminate all the ice...if you are evacuating, turn it off before you leave...we have been under boil water advisories MANY times...
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Quoting AusTxWthrGrl:
People who won't consider evacuating sometimes are in denial, but sometimes they don't have the information they need to make an informed decision. They think that they can find a structure that is high enough and sturdy enough to prevent them from being injured. What they don't consider, because they've never experienced it, is what a living hell the aftermath can be.


Having been through three of these with a small child. The most important thing is to sit quietly at home, don't go out looking at damage. Don't play with electrical wiring or generators if you do not normally use them.
Just wait..
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Recon is 125 miles NE of the center and still has 100mph flight level winds, huge wind field!
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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.
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Quoting sails1:
It appears that Irene took a slight jog to the west toward SFLA. Any one else verify>>?


Yep a little wobble, will correct back N though.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
On an unrelated note...La Nina is trying to come back with a bang...


?? we had a la nina last year from july 2010 to may 2011 we had neutral from may 2011 to now? are we still neutral or now another la nina again? and will an el nino form anytime soon?
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Quoting MississippiWx:
On an unrelated note...La Nina is trying to come back with a bang...

Wow! we might actually finish off the list of names with that, or at least get very close to it.
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Quoting Speeky:
Kind of fearing for my life right now in NYC. What should I do?


Ok, look. I can tell you're freaking out a little, and I want to say that not only is that ok, but it's natural. You are a large mammal, and as a large mammal, you have instincts that are in place to preserve your life. Trust your instincts. Fight or flight is what you're feeling. And that's the choice you have to rationally make.
What you are currently feeling is something all of us flatlanders understand too well along the Gulf Coast, and we muddle through it every year. The best you can do is assess the danger realistically and try to prepare yourself. If you go start preparing now, you will feel much much more in control of what could prove to be a pretty out of control situation.
If you are in a surge area, leave.
If not, go shopping.
Buy:
10-14 gallons of water.
Yummy non-condensed soup that tastes good cold
A manual can opener.
Beef jerky
Trail mix
Energy drinks
Gatorade
1 box of baby wipes.
Hand sanitizer.
Flashlights.
Batteries.
And if you really want to get fancy, go to a sporting goods store and get a hand cranked flashlight radio combo - those are wonderful.
You could buy all sorts of fun stuff, budget permitting. But these things are basic.
What nobody will tell you is this: following disasters, most people tend to really pull together, and rely on each other. It can be a time to slow down, create new communities and see the stars above. The media focuses on the most sensational, of course, but storms bring out the best or worst in people, and not much inbetween. I'm sure it will be the same for you, and you'll more than likely survive in the city, but be very uncomfortable. Think of it like camping, but with lots of shattered glass.
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It appears that Irene took a slight jog to the west toward SFLA. Any one else verify>>?
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Excited heading to New Bern, NC area to chase this hurricane. Leaving Greensboro, NC tmrw aft.
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On an unrelated note...La Nina is trying to come back with a bang...

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One thing that can be done for Long Islanders if they don't evacuate is to head to the north side of the island. The storm surge would be much weaker over there for one.
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704. TX2FL
Quoting Grothar:
Thought this might interest some here.

I have been calling a number of people in the New York area. I still cann't believe they are not taking it seriously. I have gotten such answers as the following: (This is not a joke)

1) What storm?
2) Isn't it going to s. Carolina?
3) We've had hurricanes before, nothing to worry
about.
4) These storms usually blow over in about 2 hours.

I told one friend that they expect massive power outages and no phone service. This is no joke. His answer was that, we have cell phones!!!!!!!

I think that anyone on the blog who knows people along the East Coast to really convince them, that this may be something that is a serious and dangerous situation.


They are saying the same thing here in northeast PA, according to the models in my area we'll have 60-80 MPH winds..structures here are not built to withstand that. I expect power to be out for at least a week, we are out in the sticks, wont' be a priority to get us power. Agnes flooded the area in 73, the levees have been improved but only by a few feet. People think "its just like a blizzard"..smh.. even the emergency management government officials don't have any plans...
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Carolina Beach, NC voluntary evacuations

Link
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Irene's circulation extends into the GOM, whooo
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Patrap's WunderBlog
Hurricane Preparation 2011



Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly. But remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.
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so much for our predicted max gusts of 30 mph.

NWS Melbourne:

.A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR STRONG WIND GUSTS
BETWEEN 40 AND 50 MPH OVER SOUTHERN BREVARD COUNTY...INDIAN RIVER
COUNTY...MARTIN COUNTY...OKEECHOBEE COUNTY...ST. LUCIE COUNTY...
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Well, one of our local Wilmington weather forecasters basically keeps saying it's all no big deal. If he's wrong he's really in for it.
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Quoting 53rdWeatherRECON:


Here's a microwave shot of that western feeder band. The dry area between that band and the eye is filling in as I type and should make Irene an annular CAT 4, possibly by 11pm. The stronger she is the further East she can go.. Just a thought.


Well there's a blog handle from the past. How's it going 53rd.
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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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