Irene sends 4.5 foot storm surge up Chesapeake Bay

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:45 AM GMT on August 28, 2011

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The eye of Hurricane Irene is back over water, after the hurricane completed a 11-hour crossing of eastern North Carolina. Irene came ashore over Cape Lookout, North Carolina at 7:30 am EDT this morning as a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. The Cedar Island Ferry Terminal measured sustained winds of 90 mph, gusting to 115 mph at 7:19am, as measured by a Department of Transportation official. I suspect this measurement came when a thunderstorm near Irene's center collapsed, sending a powerful downburst to the surface. A trained spotter on Atlantic Beach, NC measured sustained winds of 85 mph, gusting to 101 mph at 10:35 am. The Hurricane Hunters measured 80 mph winds over water at the time of landfall. However, no regular weather station or buoy has measured sustained hurricane force winds in Irene, with the highest winds being 67 mph at the Cape Lookout, North Carolina buoy as Irene made landfall. Winds have peaked along the coast of Virginia, where sustained winds of 61 mph were observed at 6 pm EDT at Chesapeake Bay Light. Irene's passage over land weakened the storm slightly, and satellite loops show more dry air has wrapped into the storm. The radar presentation of Irene visible on the Norfolk, VA radar is still very impressive--Irene is dropping torrential rains over a huge area--but there is much less rain over the storm's southeastern quadrant, over water. Radar-estimated rainfall shows a 50 mile-wide band of 8+ inches of rain has fallen from where Irene made landfall at Cape Lookout, North Carolina, northwards to Dover, Delaware. Some isolated amounts of 15+ inches may have fallen, according to the radar estimates. Bunyan, NC has received 14.00" so far, and the towns of Washington, New Bern, Grifton, Newport-Croatan, Wonona, NC, all received more than ten inches. Norfolk, Virginia had received 7.73" as of 7pm EDT, and Suffolk, Virginia, 8.00".


Figure 1. True-color MODIS image of Hurricane Irene over North Carolina taken at 11:35 am EDT August 27, 2011. At the time, Irene was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Storm surge damage from Irene
The storm surge and wave action from Irene is likely to cause the storm's greatest damage. High tide is near 7 - 8 pm EDT tonight, meaning that the storm surges occurring now will be some of Irene's most damaging. The highest surges measured at any of NOAA's regular tide gauges at 8 pm were 4.5 feet at Sewells Point in Norfolk Virginia and Oregon Inlet, NC. Higher surges are occurring father inland where narrow inlets funnel the storm surge to higher elevations. It remains unclear if the ocean will overtop Manhattan's sea wall at The Battery Sunday morning during the 8 am high tide. Latest storm surge forecasts from SUNY Stony Brook predict a peak water level of 2.4 meters above Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) at 7:15 am Sunday, which would put the ocean right at the top of the sea wall. Presumably, waves from the hurricane's winds would then push some water over the top of the wall, but it is uncertain whether or not this would cause significant flooding. The storm surge was already 1 foot at 8 pm tonight. Storm surge flooding continues to be a major concern all along the coast of Long Island Sound; I recommend the SUNY Stony Brook storm surge page for those interested in looking at observed and predicted storm surge levels along coast New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.


Figure 2. Storm surge at Sewell's Point in Norfolk, Virginia as of 8 pm EDT Saturday August 27, 2011. The green line is the storm surge, which is the difference between the observed water level (red line) and what the water level should have been without the hurricane (blue line). At 8 pm, the storm surge was 4.5 feet. Image credit: NOAA Tides and Currents.


Figure 3. Distribution of Irene's wind field at 6:30 pm EDT Saturday August 27, 2011, as observed by the Hurricane Hunters, land stations, and buoys. The right front quadrant of the hurricane had all of the storm's shrinking hurricane-force winds (yellow and orange colors.) Tropical storm-force winds (heavy black like bounding the light blue area) extended out 290 miles from the center of Irene over water, but very few areas of land were receiving tropical storm force winds. Image credit: NOAA/AOML/HRD.

Wind damage
The emergence of Irene's eye over water will slow the storm's rate of weakening, but the storm is under too much wind shear to allow it to intensify. The latest wind distribution map from NOAA's Hurricane Research Division (Figure 3) shows that all of Irene's hurricane-force winds are on the storm's east side, and also the large majority of the tropical storm-force winds. When Irene makes its 2nd landfall on Long Island, NY on Sunday, coastal locations to the right of the eye will likely experience top sustained winds of 50 - 60 mph. Coastal areas of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and the New York CIty area will mostly see top winds in the 40 - 55 mph range, since they will be on the weaker left side of the storm. Winds on the upper floors of skyscrapers will be up to 30% higher, but I expect there will be only isolated problems with New York City skyscrapers suffering blown out windows. The winds from Irene in New York City will be no worse than those experienced during some of the city's major Nor'easter winter storms of the past twenty years.

Tornadoes
Four tornadoes have been spawned by Irene, two in coastal North Carolina last night, and two in coastal Virginia today. At least two homes have been destroyed, and ten others damaged by the tornadoes. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch for all of coastal Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.

Links
Our Weather Historian, Christopher C. Burt, has an excellent post on Historic Hurricanes from New Jersey to New England.

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.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Dakster:


I do not trust any media outlet on it's own...


Trust but verify; it's too easy for someone's political and social bias to come through (not to mention their penchant for oversensationalizing to incerase readers/viewers).
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Quoting FLdewey:


Right, and sustained was what?

Go back and look P451... do you see sustained of 65? Of even 45?

No.


Right outside the city. Sustained of 52 gusting to 70
earlier...


Link
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Passaic River overflowing...again. Record flood stage predicted for Tuesday.

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http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/08/27/do-really -need-national-weather-service/

Wu is mentioned as being better than the NWS in predicting temps towards the bottom.
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3167
1334. ncstorm
Irene is a tropical storm..was never a hurricane in NY
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16222
Quoting presslord:


that's some of it...but some of it is simply that the hype sells...it's nothing 'new'...it's just the way of things...

I guess for a ratings-driven entity such as TWC, that's the case. But the NHC isn't concerned about ratings or hype or whatever; from what I've seen--and I've visited the center more than once and gotten to know some of the people--it's just a bunch of professionals trying to do a sometimes thankless and very difficult job as best they can with the tools at their disposal. They don't get bonuses for the number of storms they classify; they don't profit off of ads in each TWO; they don't have corporate sponsors pushing to have storms named ("This weekend: Hurricane Irene, brought to you by the good folks at Procter & Gamble!").

I received a WU Mail this morning accusing the NHC of being "domestic terrorists", since they scared the you-know-what out of everyone "for no reason at all". Egads...
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i knew it wasnt no cane,this is going to upsate many,shut dwn nyc for only a ts??,new for you nyc you just dodged a huggge bullet
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1330. emcf30
Quoting reedzone:
Amazing, Irene made it to NYC as a Hurricane! Might be downgraded to a TS at 11 a.m. but still a Hurricane in NYC currently.


Actually Irene officially made landfall at NYC as a Tropical Storm per the NHC.
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Quoting kaiden:
Jim Cantori is standing on his box in around 12 inches of water in Battery Park.


Now that's funny. Is it draining anywhere bad? Getting worse?
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Quoting aquak9:
from Aussie's post the massapequa cam
Link

can someone tell me exactly where that's at? I googled massapequa but it's not really a dot on a map, I'd like to know exactly where this cam is.

The dock extending out, has gone underwater in the past ten minutes.


Massapequa is on Long Island, about 1/4 down the island's length, on the side facing the Atlantic. As for the exact location of the camera...that, I'm afraid I don't know, but I'd speculate it's likely looking over South Oyster Bay.
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kk since Reed isn't up yet here is my 72 hr forecast for Jose.

REED FORECAST MODELING (JOSE)---


0-6 hrs--Jose will make an abrupt 90 degree turn to the left, thus plotting it directly into CONUS. During this time the storm will begin to pull itself together.

7-12 hrs--After nonstop r.i. the storm will be approaching Cat 3 (major) status.

12 hrs-72 hrs. The storm will expand with a COC windfield of approx. 600 miles wide as it approaches N.C.


Landfall--Extreme tidal surge is felt 200 miles inland. Surfers from Hawaii are found on rooftops of North Carolina homes wondering what just happened. Beached sealife will begin to stink for 100's of miles inland; however their decomposition will help the tobacco crops throughout Virgina due to the high lvl's of nitrogen. President Obama declares a state of emergency and evacuates to Hawaii because he is homesick. Everyone is left to fend for themselves and rioting, looting, and general warfare-like disorder ensues.


Prepare now, because there won't be time or chance to run down to the Dick's Sporting Goods to get you your own shotgun for the upcoming civil war once the storm gets close enough. Also, stock up on Twinkies. They will be worth their weight in gold x20 on the day of landfall.
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1325. Gearsts
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Must be the spawn of Emily!
LOL that was funny ;)
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1324. breald
Trying to get in touch with my family and every cell phone, home phone I call has no answer. :(
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...CENTER OF IRENE MOVES OVER NEW YORK CITY...
9:00 AM EDT Sun Aug 28
Location: 40.7°N 74.0°W
Max sustained: 65 mph
Moving: NNE at 26 mph
Min pressure: 965 mb
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Quoting TerraNova:
...wait, what?



Where did this come from
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1321. kaiden
Jim Cantori is standing on his box in around 12 inches of water in Battery Park.
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Quoting NHCaddict:


OMG

TWC is a viable alternative to the NWS?? This site "competes" with the NWS?

OMG


I'm sure the insurance companies will be great at keeping up with radars, satellites and data interpretation. NOT!
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And Good morning, all! LOL
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3167
Tropical storm at landfall in NYC (65MPH).
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offical nhc analysislanfall landfall nyc 65mph,great call stillwaiting
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1316. 900MB
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
A HURRICANE WITH NO HURRICANE WINDS COOL


Exactly, wtf! I trust the NHC for accurate portrayal of weather conditions. This trust is broken.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Yeah, who needs the NWS? NOAA? EPA? I say we privatize everything; let corporations--who are, after all, "people"--run things. If there's ever been a more pure motivation to ensure everyone's safety and health than profit, I don't know what it is...


Stupid Fox News, that was one of the most ridiculous news articles Ive ever read...
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Quoting aquak9:
from Aussie's post the massapequa cam
Link

can someone tell me exactly where that's at? I googled massapequa but it's not really a dot on a map, I'd like to know exactly where this cam is.

The dock extending out, has gone underwater in the past ten minutes.


Massapequa is on the Atlantic side of Long Island, about a fourth (?) of the way out. It's past Floral Park which is where one of my Grandmother's lived. I remember family there talking about going to Massapequa to swim. Growing up in the mountains and going to lakes, I remembered being very confused.
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3167
Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





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1312. Vero1
Quoting Cotillion:


At first, I'd imagine they'd broaden the language inclusion of the names available. At the moment, they typically use English, French and Spanish primarily. The odd Germanic name slips in.

Plenty of other languages could be used.

Secondly, it's not stopped them using names very close to each other. We have Fred and we've had Frederic; we've both had Diane and Diana.

We have plenty of names already. That said, I can imagine they'll end up retiring the entire 'I' names at the rate things are going.

I don't believe there have been any exact returns of retired storms to usage, though some names have been re-used only to be retroactively retired when the idea came into force.

I've never seen nothing that precludes from ever using names ever again if required (though, that may exist), though it would depend on what the name was (They're never going to use Katrina ever again, for example).
The ACLU will want African names for storm that originate from Africa and Latino name from Caribe. Storms.
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Quoting TerraNova:


But...but...how?!


Must be the spawn of Emily!
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1308. breald
Quoting weatherwart:


Except Twinkies. Twinkies, I believe, have an indeterminate shelf life.


I lived in Raleigh and Crabtree Valley, where the Crabtree Valley Mall is located, floods very badly. I cannot tell if that is where that picture was taken.
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Quoting FLdewey:


I'm sure you missed it, but a couple of us wanted to see those weather stations you said were seeing sustained 65 gusting to 75 in NY.

Can you shoot us the link?

TIA
,it will be changed to 65mph ts post analysis,the flooding seems to be a problem ten fold the winds
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RE:P451
This is just so the African Wave can be called Katia and threaten the GOM as Katrina's replacement.
See, and people called me crazy last night for saying this was planned!
lol.


You do not care because you do not live in Bermuda - that is so sad. I have noticed that not many people are talking about this storm (Jose) just because it is not Florida or NOLA.




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AMEN!!! The media is really bad about sending out mixed messages. "Stay in BUT send in your videos if you don't follow this advice" can lead to a loss of life or serious injury. But you'll always have those who never follow rules or use common sense, thinking they know things can't possibly be that bad, then go out and do something really stupid. This encourages others, etc. There's no hope for the idiots of the world.

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LoL, it's a perfectly sunny day here, and my TV as no signal.
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Quoting yonzabam:
What happens when we reach a point when so many hurricane names have been retired that there aren't enough names left? Has a retired name ever been 'unretired' and reused?


When the 100,000 names listed here are all retired, maybe we can call a storm yonzabam.



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Quoting Hurricanes12:
Jose met the qualifications of a tropical cyclone (area of low pressure and qualifying tropical storm force winds) so it was classified. Simple as that..


Low pressure and tropical storm force winds occur in extratropical systems, mesocyclones etc etc etc.

There are other classifications as well. The NHC illustrated it believed there is sufficient deep convection for it to be upgraded.

That's debatable, at best.

However, the NHC has chosen to upgrade it and that's that. It can always change its mind at the end of the season if it so chooses.
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Quoting presslord:


here we go with the downcasting again ;-)


But...but...how?!

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here in So Jersey (Cherry Hill)...the consensus from the peeps is:

So far...."not as bad as Floyd"

with regard to flooding

rain over..

Philly was at one time forecasted to have up to 12 inches of rain.
Actually received around 6.

Scary night (before midnight)...especially when sporadic tornado warnings were being reported. But, not much of a follow-up...after the lull.

no power loss for most..around me
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
A HURRICANE WITH NO HURRICANE WINDS COOL



I've just haven't figure that out yet. For quite some time there hasn't been 74 mph sustained winds with this system.
I guess you don't need 74mph sustained winds to classify a storm as a hurricane.

I would say the sustained winds are around 40mph with gust to 70 mph with this system. a Met said the highest winds with the system are well away from the center and gusting in the 60-70mph range. That should not be classified as a hurricane.

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1298. Seastep
Quoting WatchingThisOne:


Link broken or no such page.


Try copy and paste:

http://tidesonline.nos.noaa.gov/plotcomp.shtml?st ation_info=8518750+The+Battery%2C+NY
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Quoting TerraNova:
...wait, what?


A storm to remember.
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sad 9 folks have got killed due to the storm but think how many did not die. auto accidents murder, murder suicide, suicide and other ways that number has to be way down in fact we might be ahead
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1294. 900MB
You guys know that I've been here forever and never throw stuff out there to generate comments. But, living in NYC, I dare say the NHC is a fraud! The reason I say this is that they are still calling Irene a hurricane. To have a hurricane you must have sustained winds of over 74 miles per hour. Have they redefined the definition of a hurricane overnight? Or, are they just calling it such to cover their asses. With the "eye" having just passed over NYC, we have had sustained winds no greater than 40mph (if that), and a gust of 60mph at Central Park a couple of hours ago. This is a modest tropical storm.

So what's the deal? Is the NHC covering for Bloomberg and Christie? What gives?
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Quoting Cotillion:


Two people of private business and enterprise, both of which want as limited government as possible, says public spending is bad.

Go figure.

Yeah, who needs the NWS? NOAA? EPA? I say we privatize everything; let corporations--who are, after all, "people"--run things. If there's ever been a more pure motivation to ensure everyone's safety and health than profit, I don't know what it is...
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Quoting Neapolitan:
According to the New York Times and other NYC-based media, there are numerous major thoroughfares under several feet of water. Hundreds of thousands are without power. Countless trees have been toppled. The public transportation system is down. Some floodwalls have been breached. And so on.

It's human nature, I guess, that a) we are warned of a possible disaster; b) we make preparations to protect life and property; c) the event passes, and damage is minimal due to all the preparation; and then d) we whine and complain about how overhyped the whole thing was since damage to life and property was minimal.

I hope this isn't a dangerous new paradigm we're getting into: that unless a particular hurricane causes Katrina-level death and destruction, it's been "over-hyped". Now that would be a tragedy.




I agree nea. I also worry about that. And I think the fact that NYC was involved will amplify the overhype complaints. Funny how things up there work that way.....Maybe cuz of the media and its a gossippy place.....btw is Gossippy a word?
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Quoting TerraNova:
...wait, what?



here we go with the downcasting again ;-)
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting P451:


We've had a number of wind events up here since last fall including some very strong thunderstorms.

This event has not yet exceeded any of those, no. The event has not yet maxed out however - we've been told the winds will be stronger when the storm departs.

So we'll see.

In all it's obvious the winds have been below the NHC/NWS forecasted totals and a bit above what Dr. M had suggested last night.

However we did not get continuous sustained winds as forecasted. During some squalls it was largely in the 35 sustained gusting 50 for the most part. Just this am we had one sustained 50 gusting 65 for about 10 minutes. But it has dropped down between these squalls to just 15-20 gusting 30. Currently 30 gusting 45.

Damage is limited right now thankfully. Just branches, twigs, leaves. Perhaps some reason behind that is the earlier storms doing some pruning of the vulnerable trees if you will.

Just hoping to escape the heavier gusts that come when the storm departs.

We'll see what happens.
,dont get me wrong im glad it didnt get as bad as forecast,i want my grandma and all other northern brothers and sisters safe,i just enjoy makeing my predictions,im not a met or do i expect or want anyone to listen to my posts over the nhc and ems
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Quoting aquak9:


again



I know it's on Long Isl;and, if that helps...I think the south end...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
Quoting yonzabam:
What happens when we reach a point when so many hurricane names have been retired that there aren't enough names left? Has a retired name ever been 'unretired' and reused?


At first, I'd imagine they'd broaden the language inclusion of the names available. At the moment, they typically use English, French and Spanish primarily. The odd Germanic name slips in.

Plenty of other languages could be used.

Secondly, it's not stopped them using names very close to each other. We have Fred and we've had Frederic; we've both had Diane and Diana.

We have plenty of names already. That said, I can imagine they'll end up retiring the entire 'I' names at the rate things are going.

I don't believe there have been any exact returns of retired storms to usage, though some names have been re-used only to be retroactively retired when the idea came into force.

I've never seen anything that precludes from ever using names ever again if required (though, that may exist), though it would depend on what the name was (They're never going to use Katrina ever again, for example).
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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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