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 KrazyKaneLove:


u said it 100 times..hmmm it says here u only have 2 posts..POOF



LOL
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Those who crave attention the most should be left alone so they go home.
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I wish to thank some recurring trolls for certain reliable signatures, such as UZEN ALL CAPS AND NO PUNCHUASHUN AND BAD MIZSPEELINGS. It makes you guys so much easier to detect and ignore.
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Just a Photo For our records...



Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting Krycek1984:


Absolutely agree!

Outside of the vacuum of this blog, people are remarking on how Irene wasn't nearly as bad as first thought.

Inside of the vacuum of this blog, you would think that it was a doomsday scenario.


you do realize that we do not yet know what kind of damage those flood waters did


you two must live in a fantasy world where when flooding occurs it just goes away with no damage to structure. Can I live in that world? because that sounds good

Sadly getting back to reality, that is not always the case. It would be wise to wait until the waters recede to see what kind of damaged this storm did before we determine whether or not this was overhyped
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Quoting KrazyKaneLove:


u said it 100 times..hmmm it says here u only have 2 posts..POOF


+1000
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Quoting nostorminflorida:
GREAT FORCAST THE PAST 5 DAYS I SAID 3 DAYS AGO 100 TIMES THAT IT WOULD AT BEST BE A TROPICAL STORM IN NYC CANT BELIEVE I WAS RIGHT AGAIN THANKS FOR LAUGHING AT ME BUT I WAS RIGHT ONLY A TROPICAL STORM NO CAT 1 2 OR 3 ALL HYPE PANIC CREATES PROFIT SES THE NUMBER ! SPONSOR OF THE WEATHER CHANNEL EVERY YEAR


u said it 100 times..hmmm it says here u only have 2 posts..POOF
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Quoting nostorminflorida:
GREAT FORCAST THE PAST 5 DAYS I SAID 3 DAYS AGO 100 TIMES THAT IT WOULD AT BEST BE A TROPICAL STORM IN NYC CANT BELIEVE I WAS RIGHT AGAIN THANKS FOR LAUGHING AT ME BUT I WAS RIGHT ONLY A TROPICAL STORM NO CAT 1 2 OR 3 ALL HYPE PANIC CREATES PROFIT SES THE NUMBER ! SPONSOR OF THE WEATHER CHANNEL EVERY YEAR


WHAT? I CANT HEAR YOU!!! CAN YOU SPEAK UP?!?!?!?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32832
Quoting ncstorm:
183 Hours
Quoting ncstorm:
183 Hours



where do you think the first storm will hit or go? I'm talking about the one closest to PR.
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Quoting Oct8:


Also your proclamation that drugs are not developed in Europe is well silly,since you must not know who Bayer, Roche, Novartis, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, et al. are. I will clue you in -- they are private companies in Europe that develop drugs and make money doing so.


But that can't be right! We Europeans are all evil socialists that live under beds... We know nothing of capitalism and invention. :(

...

---

According to the AP wire, there've been "11 confirmed deaths, 14 unconfirmed deaths" due to Irene. I'm not sure if that includes previous fatalities in the Caribbean as well. It looks like, sadly, to be the most fatal storm of the season so far and the most since Tomas last year.


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2024. USCGLT
And if it had come in stronger the blog (and public) would be on fire saying how it was under forecast. Its called a weather "forecast" for a reason.
Quoting donna1960ruled:
Bad forecasting has cost the metro nyc area more than 30 million dollars in unnecessary evacs, mobilizations, etc. The price is that 95 percent of the population will never take them seriously again. Next cut will be NOAA...NHC....bye bye. Dont bother studying meteorology in school....we have 80000, we will be needing 1200.
I do feel bad for the man in Brooklyn this morning that lost a cigarette in a 34 mph gust. It was his last one, and his first of the day.
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Quoting 996tt:


Not downplaying. Putting it into proper perspective. Flood waters will recede quickly and power will be restored quickly. Unlike a serious hurricane, infrastructure remains in tact. This is all great news. Hurricanes I been through leave you without power for weeks and infrastructure is gone so even if house okay, no place to get gas, food or water. That is the type if damage some were leading people to believe. Nothing historic but hype or potential for devastation that existed.

Doesn't matter what people say in here, someone will twist to suit their purpose. We had horrible floods in Midwest and unprecedented tornado destruction. A bullet was dodged with Irene. Many or perhaps most of the knowledgeable mets pegged ultimate intensity Friday and early Saturday. Some just don't listen.

Next time upper east coast in cross hairs, people may not listen now.


Absolutely agree!

Outside of the vacuum of this blog, people are remarking on how Irene wasn't nearly as bad as first thought.

Inside of the vacuum of this blog, you would think that it was a doomsday scenario.
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Quoting ncstorm:
192 hours


looks to me like ridging starts to build in to the north
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Quoting nostorminflorida:
CANT BELEIEVE EVERYONE IS ALREADY TALKING ABOUT 92 LOL LET ME GUESS ALL THE MODELS HAVE IT COMMING TO FLORIDA AGAIN LMAO



It's a weather forum? Would you rather us talk about making brownies or something? Cause, that would be fun :-/
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Quoting atmoaggie:
lol. Me too. (Not right-wing, but slightly right-of-center, might be the better description).


whew, almost had to poof you
;>)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Link

Put it up.

Just saw it. :)
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Nothing too bad here in Rockland MA :)
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2015. raggpr
Quoting nostorminflorida:
what happened to the cat 2 or 3 for virginia jersey and new york? then again every single model said florida then georgia then s carolina was gonna get a direct hit and that never happened just remember the weather channels big sponsors always ses ( PANIC CREATES PROFIT) THEY DO THAT EVERY YEAR IN FLORIDA AND NOTHING COMES

Ignorance
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:



First time I've heard that Taz. :-/



yup they made it too where you can no loger do hot linking from that site you can still post them but you have too up lode them
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting Tazmanian:




how many time do we have too say this



remote linking is disabled plzs up lode from imageshack that site dos not yet you do hot linking



First time I've heard that Taz. :-/
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Jersey Shore got banged up. My house survived, I heard from emergency management people that stayed behind, but there's flooding that has no where to go (6+ inches of rain in the last week, unassociated with Irene, and that might be a generous underestimate). The eye hit right in my county, and the surge was something else, I hear. I can't go home for two days, minimum. Good thing I have canned goods! I'm at my sister's, 5 miles off the barrier island where I live, and on a hill. We have electricity and internet and t.v. I don't know what to expect when I get home. I know the house and better yet, me and my dogs survived.
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.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Thanks. I'm surprised by the amount of good imagery for Irene. Still haven't found an image of Irene over New England, though.


Link

Put it up.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32832
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Afternoon All. Pretty significant cyclone portrayed on the 12Z GFS @ 120hrs.



That site no longer allows hotlinking.
Member Since: June 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 888
2000. o22sail
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Yes the cycle of insanity continues. Politics sucks...and so does destroying the middle class. If you like the thought of a third world country then keep considering the "right" to be a valid side. Why are there even any right wingers on this blog? The right has proudly become the anti-science crowd. Weather is science...

I couldn't like this quote any more than I already do.
You actually "get it".
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Afternoon All. Pretty significant cyclone portrayed on the 12Z GFS @ 120hrs.
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1998. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting sunlinepr:
Was Jose named, just to make up statistics?

Tropical Storm Jose (Info. in Wikipedia)

As of 8 a.m. AST (1200 UTC) August 28, Tropical Storm Jose is located within 15 nautical miles of 30.8°N 65.7°W, about 115 mi (185 km) south-southwest of Bermuda. Maximum sustained winds are 35 knots (40 mph, 65 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 1008 mbar (hPa; 29.77 InHg), and the system is moving north at 14 kt (16 mph, 26 km/h). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center of Jose.


By ASCAT it qualified as a TS lastnight..
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1997. Tygor
Quoting TXEER:
Storm Update: All is well here in Houston...except its over 100 again and no rain!


Yeah today is billing to be the warmest day ever in San Antonio, which should tell everyone something. I was actually surprised the hottest day ever was 111, seems kind of low to me.

We are still waiting for our first real rainfall since it rained for a couple hours back in May I think. I would still rather take the drought than 15" of rain and damage though.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Will do ;)

Thanks. I'm surprised by the amount of good imagery for Irene. Still haven't found an image of Irene over New England, though.
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Quoting largeeyes:
Link

How do they get the boat down?


Too funny, they have it tied to a post. Like it's going to go anywhere.
Member Since: June 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 888
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
PAT MICHAELS: ‘IT IS DOUBTFUL HURRICANE IRENE WILL COUGH UP EVEN EIGHT BODIES’ http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/08/27/306153/ pat-michaels-it-is-doubtful-hurricane-irene-will-c ough-up-even-eight-bodies/

disgusting

Yes, Michaels is, indeed, disgusting. And in far more ways that one...
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Quoting ncstorm:
147 Hours



looks like it stalled
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Was Jose named, just to make up statistics?

Tropical Storm Jose (Info. in Wikipedia)

As of 8 a.m. AST (1200 UTC) August 28, Tropical Storm Jose is located within 15 nautical miles of 30.8°N 65.7°W, about 115 mi (185 km) south-southwest of Bermuda. Maximum sustained winds are 35 knots (40 mph, 65 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 1008 mbar (hPa; 29.77 InHg), and the system is moving north at 14 kt (16 mph, 26 km/h). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center of Jose.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Have you seen THIS?

Would be cool to have it on the Wiki page.


Will do ;)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32832

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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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