Irene continues to weaken

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:46 PM GMT on August 26, 2011

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Satellite data and measurements from the Hurricane Hunters show that Irene continues to weaken. A 1:32 pm EDT center fix by an Air Force Reserve aircraft found that Irene's eyewall is still gone, and the central pressure had risen to 951 mb from a low of 942 mb this morning. The winds measured in Irene near the surface support classifying it as a strong Category 1 hurricane or weak Category 2. Satellite imagery shows a distinctly lopsided appearance to Irene's cloud pattern, with not much heavy thunderstorm activity on the southwest side. This is due to moderate southwesterly wind shear of 10 - 20 knots. This shear is disrupting Irene's circulation and has cut off upper-level outflow along the south side of the hurricane. No eye is visible in satellite loops, but the storm's size is certainly impressive. Long range radar out of Wilmington, North Carolina, shows that the outermost spiral bands from Irene have moved ashore over North Carolina. Winds at buoy 41004 100 miles offshore from Charleston, SC increased to 47 mph, gusting to 60 mph at 3 pm EDT, with significant wave heights of 25 feet.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Irene taken at 11:50 am EDT Friday August 26, when Irene was a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds. The eyewall collapsed several hours before this image was taken, and no eye is apparent. Image credit: a href=http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/ NASA.


Figure 2. Distribution of Irene's wind field at 3:30 pm EDT Friday August 26, 2011, as observed by the Hurricane Hunters and buoys. The right front quadrant of the hurricane had about 90% of the storm's hurricane-force winds (yellow and warmer colors, bounded by the heavy black line between the "50" and "60" knot thin black lines.) Tropical storm-force winds (heavy black like bounding the light blue area) extended out 290 miles from the center of Irene. Image credit: NOAA/AOML/HRD.

Forecast for Irene
With its eyewall collapsed and just 18 more hours over water before landfall, Irene does not have time to build a new eyewall and intensify. The storm is too large to weaken quickly, and the best forecast is that Irene will be a strong Category 1 hurricane at landfall in North Carolina on Saturday. Based on the latest wind analysis from NOAA's Hurricane Research Division (Figure 2) and Irene's continued weakening trend, I predict that the 80-mile section of North Carolina coast to the right of where Irene makes landfall will receive sustained hurricane-force winds of 75 - 85 mph on Saturday at landfall; the 80-mile section of coast to the left will receive 55 - 75 mph winds. High wind shear of 30 knots will begin ripping into Irene Sunday morning when it is near Southern New Jersey, and more rapid weakening will occur. By the time Irene arrives on Long Island Sunday afternoon, it will probably have top sustained winds in the 65 - 75 mph range. However, since Irene is such a huge storm--tropical storm force winds extend out up to 290 miles from the center--it has set a massive amount of the ocean's surface in motion, which will cause a much larger storm surge than the winds would suggest. At 3:30 pm EDT this afternoon, a wind analysis from NOAA/HRD (Figure 2) indicated that the potential storm surge damage from Irene still rated a 5.0 on a scale of 0 to 6. This is equivalent to the storm surge a typical Category 4 hurricane would have. While this damage potential should steadily decline as Irene moves northwards and weakens, we can still expect a storm surge one full Saffir-Simpson Category higher than Irene's winds when it impacts the coast. Since tides are at their highest levels of the month this weekend due to the new moon, storm surge flooding will be at a maximum during the high tidal cycles that will occur at 8 pm Saturday night and 8 am Sunday morning. Wherever Irene happens to be at those times, the storm surge damage potential will be maximized. I continue to give a 20% chance that a 3 - 4 foot storm surge high enough to over-top the Manhattan flood walls and swamp the New York City subway system will occur on Sunday. The latest 11 am probabilistic storm surge map from NHC shows a 20 - 30% chance of a storm surge in excess of 3 feet in New York Harbor (Figure 4.) Keep in mind that these maps are calculated for normal tide level, and this weekend's high tides will be nearly 1 foot above normal.

Insurance company AIR-Worldwide is estimating that insured damages from Irene in the U.S. will be $1.5 - $6 billion. They estimate losses in the Caribbean at $0.5 - $1.1 billion from Irene.


Figure 3. Storm surge heights, in feet above normal tide level, which have a 20 percent chance of being exceeded during the next 3 days.  The graphic is based upon an ensemble of Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model runs using the current National Hurricane Center (NHC) official hurricane advisory. The exceedance heights depend on the historical accuracy of NHCs forecasts of hurricane track, and wind speed, and an estimate of storm size. Image credit: NOAA.


Figure 4. Overall chance that storm surges will be greater than 3 feet above normal tide levels during the next 3 days.  The graphic is based upon an ensemble of Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model runs using the current National Hurricane Center (NHC) official hurricane advisory.  Storm surge probabilities depend on the historical accuracy of NHCs forecasts of hurricane track, and wind speed, and an estimate of storm size. Image credit: NOAA.

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, documenting the storm's impact on the Bahamas.

Internet radio show on Irene at 4:30pm EDT
Wunderground meteorologists will be discussing Hurricane Irene on a special edition of our Internet radio show, the Daily Downpour, today (Friday) at 4:30pm EDT. Shaun Tanner , Tim Roche, Angela Fritz, and Rob Carver will take your questions. The email address to ask questions is broadcast@wunderground.com.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Hate to take it off topic from Irene.. but the models have been for over a day indicating that yet another significant hurricane will develop late next week. We saw this with Irene, and it could verify. Obviously, track isn't important atm.
12z GFS, 144 hours. Strong TS in the open Atlantic, develops on the 31st. Intensifies into a hurricane later in the run.


12z ECMWF, 144 hours. Also shows a TS in the open Atlantic, intensifies into a Category 4 hurricane later in the run. Also worth noting that both the ECMWF and NOGAPS show a TS or hurricane in the BOC hitting Mexico. Looks like a Hermine situation if that verifies.


12z GGEM/CMC. Same as the ECMWF/GFS, probably a hurricane later in the run.


12z NOGAPS, TS in 144 hours, system in the BOC.


The name game isn't over yet after Irene.. more and more storms to come. We're not even at peak yet, that's not for two weeks.

19-20 named storms seems like a real possibility.


Your kidding me?? They removed linking from that site? Unbelievable.
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Quoting P451:
Manhattan Forecast from NWS

SUNDAY
HURRICANE CONDITIONS POSSIBLE. RAIN. RAIN MAY BE HEAVY AT
TIMES. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 70S. NORTHEAST WINDS 55 TO 70 MPH...
BECOMING NORTHWEST 55 TO 65 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. GUSTS UP TO
85 MPH...DECREASING TO 80 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF RAIN NEAR
100 PERCENT.


Raritan Bay Forecast
Large body of water just south of Manhattan.

SUN
HURRICANE CONDITIONS POSSIBLE. E WINDS 45 TO 65 KT...
BECOMING S 55 TO 75 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. GUSTS UP TO 85 KT...
INCREASING TO 90 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS AROUND 23
FT...BUILDING TO 26 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. RAIN. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM.


Coastal towns along the Jersey coastline:

SUNDAY
HURRICANE CONDITIONS POSSIBLE. PERIODS OF RAIN AND
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS. RAIN MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES. HUMID WITH
HIGHS IN THE UPPER 70S. NORTHEAST WINDS 65 TO 85 MPH WITH GUSTS
UP TO 100 MPH...BECOMING WEST AND...DIMINISHING TO 55 TO 65 MPH
WITH GUSTS UP TO 80 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF RAIN NEAR
100 PERCENT.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


West for just a while, and then picked up by a trough.


Thanks, and take care of yourself.

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Quoting Levi32:
Even now, Irene's pressure doesn't want to rise much, and is down 1mb from before. This is a testament to the overall pattern in this area of the world which has argued for a big storm. For all of her troubles with her inner core, Irene will want to remain a strong storm as she moves up the coast, and folks should not take her lightly.

Indications from recon wind data are that if she's going to form even a partial new eyewall, it should be about 30 miles across, as that is where the wind maxima begin.

she isnt looking too hot right now. do you agree with what the nhc is forecasting, a cat 1 at landfall in NC? i personally dont as her pressure doesnt rise that much anymore. i see her making landfall as a cat 2
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hate to take it off topic from Irene.. but the models have been for over a day indicating that yet another significant hurricane will develop late next week. We saw this with Irene, and it could verify. Obviously, track isn't important atm.
12z GFS, 144 hours. Strong TS in the open Atlantic, develops on the 31st. Intensifies into a hurricane later in the run.


12z ECMWF, 144 hours. Also shows a TS in the open Atlantic, intensifies into a Category 4 hurricane later in the run. Also worth noting that both the ECMWF and NOGAPS show a TS or hurricane in the BOC hitting Mexico. Looks like a Hermine situation if that verifies.


12z GGEM/CMC. Same as the ECMWF/GFS, probably a hurricane later in the run.


12z NOGAPS, TS in 144 hours, system in the BOC.


The name game isn't over yet after Irene.. more and more storms to come. We're not even at peak yet, that's not for two weeks.

19-20 named storms seems like a real possibility.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting zawxdsk:
Are they going straight in from the north on the next pass? That's the area that I'm interested in seeing right now.


NOAA plane is coming in directly from the south and the AF plane is flying through the N-ern side from east to west.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Quoting Grothar:
Anyone know which way 91L will might go?


768

WHXX01 KWBC 261924

CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

1924 UTC FRI AUG 26 2011



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL912011) 20110826 1800 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

110826 1800 110827 0600 110827 1800 110828 0600



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 27.4N 60.2W 28.1N 62.2W 29.5N 64.1W 32.1N 65.6W

BAMD 27.4N 60.2W 27.0N 62.0W 26.7N 63.8W 26.7N 65.6W

BAMM 27.4N 60.2W 27.8N 62.1W 28.6N 63.8W 30.0N 65.3W

LBAR 27.4N 60.2W 27.4N 61.9W 27.5N 63.6W 28.2N 65.3W

SHIP 30KTS 32KTS 32KTS 30KTS

DSHP 30KTS 32KTS 32KTS 30KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

110828 1800 110829 1800 110830 1800 110831 1800



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 36.3N 66.2W 45.7N 58.5W 53.1N 39.5W 57.3N 24.9W

BAMD 27.2N 67.3W 29.4N 69.4W 32.7N 70.0W 35.5N 71.1W

BAMM 32.6N 66.4W 39.9N 64.5W 47.5N 49.2W 49.2N 21.5W

LBAR 29.4N 66.5W 32.8N 65.9W 37.7N 63.3W 42.6N 56.9W

SHIP 23KTS 0KTS 0KTS 0KTS

DSHP 23KTS 0KTS 0KTS 0KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 27.4N LONCUR = 60.2W DIRCUR = 270DEG SPDCUR = 11KT

LATM12 = 27.4N LONM12 = 57.8W DIRM12 = 271DEG SPDM12 = 11KT

LATM24 = 27.4N LONM24 = 54.4W

WNDCUR = 30KT RMAXWD = 25NM WNDM12 = 30KT

CENPRS = 1015MB OUTPRS = 1017MB OUTRAD = 100NM SDEPTH = S

RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52154
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
News is saying we already have roads near the beaches with water across the roads..


What area?
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Quoting Dennis8:


You still have electricity :>P


For now, lol.
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News is saying we already have roads near the beaches with water across the roads..
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Are they going straight in from the north on the next pass? That's the area that I'm interested in seeing right now.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Really? :P


You still have electricity :>P
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Quoting Methurricanes:
So if it hits NYC then the top of the Chrysler, Empire State, BOA, the new WTC 1 ect. will get very strong winds as tney are 1,000-1,500ft tall.


Winds at the top of high rise buildings and skyscrapers will be about 1 Category higher than the maximum surface winds.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Does anyone have a link to a webcam with sound showing Irene's waves at a beach somewhere close to landfall expectations?
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Quoting Grothar:
Anyone know which way 91L will might go?


West for just a while, and then picked up by a trough.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Even now, Irene's pressure doesn't want to rise much, and is down 1mb from before. This is a testament to the overall pattern in this area of the world which has argued for a big storm. For all of her troubles with her inner core, Irene will want to remain a strong storm as she moves up the coast, and folks should not take her lightly.

Indications from recon wind data are that if she's going to form even a partial new eyewall, it should be about 30 miles across, as that is where the wind maxima begin.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26454
Anyone know which way 91L will might go?
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Quoting atmosweather:
Buoy 41013 to the NW of Irene now reporting 40+ kt winds with a very steep pressure drop in the last 3 hours. Conditions are beginning to deteriorate quickly near the coast of the Carolinas.


Really? :P
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Quoting Methurricanes:
So if it hits NYC then the top of the Chrysler, Empire State, BOA, the new WTC 1 ect. will get very strong winds as tney are 1,000-1,500ft tall.


VERY TRUE...windows blown out in Ike in downtown Houston and debris from skyscraper rooftops very deadly! Stuff up there from years that flys around.
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She has definitely moved NNE/NE the past hour or so - too early to tell if this is a wobble or a trend but we should know soon. Probably a trend, imo.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
I think this satellite image says it all about the weakening...



Agree.

Memo to Irene: Feel free to become even weaker!!!
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
Buoy 41013 to the NW of Irene now reporting 40+ kt winds with a very steep pressure drop in the last 3 hours. Conditions are beginning to deteriorate quickly near the coast of the Carolinas.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
I think this satellite image says it all about the weakening...

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Quoting galvestonhurricane:


Levi, what is the Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE) for Irene?


Cat 3.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26454
Quoting atmosweather:


Yes that is from the NE quadrant, the one I posted was dropped in the W-ern side. Still, look at the maximum winds above the surface level...102 kts is the best she can do almost at 1,500 feet in the strongest part of the storm.



Thanks ..you give an excellent analysis on here +1..some of the best..please keep it up!
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Quoting atmosweather:


Yes that is from the NE quadrant, the one I posted was dropped in the W-ern side. Still, look at the maximum winds above the surface level...102 kts is the best she can do almost at 1,500 feet in the strongest part of the storm.
So if it hits NYC then the top of the Chrysler, Empire State, BOA, the new WTC 1 ect. will get very strong winds as tney are 1,000-1,500ft tall.
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Quoting MrstormX:
At this point there is no doubt Irene is weakening, as stated there is only an eye fragment left.


There was no eyewall earlier :P
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Irene is still a large & dangerous hurricane despite not being a "Major". Things could have been a lot worse if wind shear & dry air didn't slow down Irene.
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09L/H/I/C1
RI FLAG (off)
RD FLAG (FLAG)
WEAKENING FLAG (ON)
MARK
33.32n/76.92w forecast point





ALWAYS FOLLOW NHC/TPC FORECASTS FOR ALL WARNINGS REGARDING THIS STORM
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52154
17:26 78.0 °F 29.09in ENE 59.0mph 61.0mph 1% 0.15in

Parmele Isle, Wrightsville Beach
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For anyone in the impending power outage areas,this is an easy way to retain communication by laptop computer, providing the network remains active.You will need the following:
A 1000 Watt Inverter ( Converts DC battery power to 120 volts ac)
A power strip or extension cord with multiple 120 volt outlets
A vehicle 12 volt battery, marine/ RV deep cycle or cranking battery
A positive and negative connection between the Inverter & vehicle battery, AWG 8 (8 gauge wiring)
Connect your modem &/or the wireless WiFi hub to the inverter as your computer requires. Turn Inverter ON & moniter the 120 volt output to the connected equipment.You will also be able to even charge the laptop battery for a short while. A deep cycle RV battery should provide at least an hour or two of run-time.Good luck to all on the East Coast through this weekend.
SP
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The Latest
*Click on images in WU Blog to magnify them (images can be further magnified in the new window by clicking on them)






Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
At this point there is no doubt Irene is weakening, as stated there is only an eye fragment left.
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Quoting zawxdsk:


I have a different dropsonde reading at 32.03N 76.85W

Significant Wind Levels...
Level Wind Direction Wind Speed
969mb (Surface) 115° (from the ESE) 76 knots (87 mph)
948mb 115° (from the ESE) 96 knots (110 mph)
941mb 120° (from the ESE) 96 knots (110 mph)
935mb 120° (from the ESE) 102 knots (117 mph)
927mb 120° (from the ESE) 98 knots (113 mph)
918mb 125° (from the SE) 101 knots (116 mph)
911mb 125° (from the SE) 96 knots (110 mph)
885mb 130° (from the SE) 94 knots (108 mph)
876mb 135° (from the SE) 98 knots (113 mph)
850mb 135° (from the SE) 91 knots (105 mph)
772mb 140° (from the SE) 76 knots (87 mph)
697mb 145° (from the SE) 83 knots (96 mph)
The highest wind observed in the "Significant Wind Levels" section is noted in bold.


Yes that is from the NE quadrant, the one I posted was dropped in the W-ern side. Still, look at the maximum winds above the surface level...102 kts is the best she can do almost at 1,500 feet in the strongest part of the storm.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
17:21 78.3 °F - 78.3 °F 29.60in NE 26.0mph 45.0mph 100% 0.01in

Wrightsville Beach, NC
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I think river flooding will be the big killer, with the very heavy rains the northeast has had in August. I don't think wind and surge will be very destructive north of Virginia.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Eastern Pender County, the county north of the county Wilmington is in...

Be safe! Used to live in Hampstead and in Surf City. My folks had a place at Topsail Beach from 1974 until 1995. Sold just before Fran! We are too familiar with storms around that area.
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Quoting iceman100:


It's common sense. I'm not questioning Dr. Masters' credentials. I'm just pointing out the quote is now hours old and new information makes it unlikely to happen.


If you say, but the data is less than two hour old. If you want to see the models and learn about the program, go here:

www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Storm_pages/irene2011/wind. html
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Quoting Levi32:


She will probably be known for water damage, not wind, which has always been the biggest concern with this storm. She is capable of doing a lot after a record month of rain in the northeast, and with her storm surge that will be characteristic of a much stronger hurricane.


Levi, what is the Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE) for Irene?
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000
URNT12 KNHC 262117 CCA
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL092011
A. 26/20:38:40Z
B. 31 deg 36 min N
077 deg 19 min W
C. 700 mb 2665 m
D. 65 kt
E. 240 deg 56 nm
F. 331 deg 77 kt
G. 236 deg 79 nm
H. 950 mb
I. 11 C / 3048 m
J. 15 C / 3053 m

K. 2 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 12345 / 7
O. 0.02 / 1 nm
P. AF308 2909A IRENE OB 04 CCA
MAX OUTBOUND AND MAX FL WIND 91 KT NE QUAD 20:59:30Z
MAX FL TEMP 17 C 229 / 12 NM FROM FL CNTR
INBOUND PK FL WNDS SW QUAD 78 KTS AT 79 NM RADIUS AND SECONDARY PEAK 76 KTS AT 36 NM
ONE INNER EYEWALL FRAGMENT NE QUAD WITHIN 12 NM OF FIX
PEAK WINDS FOUND IN OUTER RAINBAND 34 NM TO THE NE


This is the problem...she still has a fragment of her previous eyewall, but the rest of her core consists of 2 maximum wind bands 40 and 90 miles away from the center. Her organization is a mess right now. Is it impossible that she can recover this evening very quickly and build a new eyewall closer to the center? Definitely not, but its very unlikely at this point.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Quoting wolftribe2009:


How so TA? I seem to think "TD10" is going to be moving further west than expect. Wait didn't TD10 dissipate in 2005 before becoming Katrina?


Not from Tropical Depression 10, but from the wave located over Western Africa.
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This is sad.

Woman fleeing Irene killed in Nash wreck
Member Since: September 21, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3690
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Indications are, we will be dealing with another big deal, come the next 7-10 days.


How so TA? I seem to think "TD10" is going to be moving further west than expect. Wait didn't TD10 dissipate in 2005 before becoming Katrina?
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Quoting atmosweather:
The AF plane's dropsonde went straight into the maximum wind band and this says it all regarding her strength:

Level Wind Direction Wind Speed
978mb (Surface) 320%uFFFD (from the NW) 50 knots (58 mph)
977mb 320%uFFFD (from the NW) 50 knots (58 mph)
972mb 315%uFFFD (from the NW) 78 knots (90 mph)
967mb 315%uFFFD (from the NW) 86 knots (99 mph)
942mb 320%uFFFD (from the NW) 88 knots (101 mph)
935mb 325%uFFFD (from the NW) 84 knots (97 mph)
917mb 330%uFFFD (from the NNW) 90 knots (104 mph)
886mb 330%uFFFD (from the NNW) 78 knots (90 mph)
850mb 330%uFFFD (from the NNW) 73 knots (84 mph)
696mb 325%uFFFD (from the NW) 63 knots (72 mph)

Earlier last night and this morning we were seeing regular reports of winds above 110 kts 3,000-5,000 feet above the surface...even in the western side of the storm they were well over 100 kts.

Unfortunately, the winds associated with Irene will not lessen the impact that the huge waves and storm surge and extremely heavy rain will have on the entire NC shore, mid-Atlantic and NE-ern coastline.


She will probably be known for water damage, not wind, which has always been the biggest concern with this storm. She is capable of doing a lot after a record month of rain in the northeast, and with her storm surge that will be characteristic of a much stronger hurricane.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26454
Quoting atmosweather:
The AF plane's dropsonde went straight into the maximum wind band and this says it all regarding her strength:

Level Wind Direction Wind Speed
978mb (Surface) 320� (from the NW) 50 knots (58 mph)
977mb 320� (from the NW) 50 knots (58 mph)
972mb 315� (from the NW) 78 knots (90 mph)
967mb 315� (from the NW) 86 knots (99 mph)
942mb 320� (from the NW) 88 knots (101 mph)
935mb 325� (from the NW) 84 knots (97 mph)
917mb 330� (from the NNW) 90 knots (104 mph)
886mb 330� (from the NNW) 78 knots (90 mph)
850mb 330� (from the NNW) 73 knots (84 mph)
696mb 325� (from the NW) 63 knots (72 mph)

Earlier last night and this morning we were seeing regular reports of winds above 110 kts 3,000-5,000 feet above the surface...even in the western side of the storm they were well over 100 kts.

Unfortunately, the winds associated with Irene will not lessen the impact that the huge waves and storm surge and extremely heavy rain will have on the entire NC shore, mid-Atlantic and NE-ern coastline.


I have a different dropsonde reading at 32.03N 76.85W

Significant Wind Levels...
Level Wind Direction Wind Speed
969mb (Surface) 115° (from the ESE) 76 knots (87 mph)
948mb 115° (from the ESE) 96 knots (110 mph)
941mb 120° (from the ESE) 96 knots (110 mph)
935mb 120° (from the ESE) 102 knots (117 mph)
927mb 120° (from the ESE) 98 knots (113 mph)
918mb 125° (from the SE) 101 knots (116 mph)
911mb 125° (from the SE) 96 knots (110 mph)
885mb 130° (from the SE) 94 knots (108 mph)
876mb 135° (from the SE) 98 knots (113 mph)
850mb 135° (from the SE) 91 knots (105 mph)
772mb 140° (from the SE) 76 knots (87 mph)
697mb 145° (from the SE) 83 knots (96 mph)
The highest wind observed in the "Significant Wind Levels" section is noted in bold.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.