Recovery from the destruction left behind by Hurricane Irene continues in the mid-Atlantic and New England states today. Irene's storm surge, winds, and record rains likely did $3 - $6 billion in insured damage to the U.S., according to AIR-Worldwide. Since actual damages are typically double insured losses, Irene's total price tag will likely be $6 - $12 billion, making it one of the top 20 most expensive hurricanes to hit the U.S. Irene will be one of the most expensive Category 1 hurricanes ever.
JeffMasters, • 4:38 PM GMT on August 31, 2011
Record flooding continues in the Northeast from Irene's torrential rains. Hardest hit was Vermont, where heavy rains in the weeks prior to Irene's arrival had left soils in the top 20% for moisture, historically. Irene dumped 5 - 8 inches of rain over large sections of Vermont, with a peak of 11.23" at Mendo. The reading from Mendo was the greatest single-day rainfall in Vermont's history.
JeffMasters, • 3:40 PM GMT on August 30, 2011
Hurricane Irene is gone, but the huge hurricane's torrential rains have unleashed one of the Northeast's greatest flood disasters. Numerous rivers and creeks throughout the Northeast crested above their highest flood stages on record over the past 24 hours. Irene's rains were a 1-in-100 year event for portions of six states.
JeffMasters, • 4:00 PM GMT on August 29, 2011
JeffMasters, • 4:45 PM GMT on August 28, 2011
The eye of Hurricane Irene is back over water, after the hurricane completed a 11-hour crossing of eastern North Carolina. 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. Irene is dropping torrential rains over a huge area.
JeffMasters, • 12:45 AM GMT on August 28, 2011
Hurricane Irene roared ashore over Cape Lookout, North Carolina at 7:30 am this morning as a weakened Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. No sustained hurricane-force winds have been reported from any land stations yet, though the Hurricane Hunters did measure 80 mph winds over water at the time of landfall. Winds at the Cape Lookout, North Carolina buoy, which the eye passed directly over, peaked at 67 mph as Irene made landfall.
JeffMasters, • 4:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2011
Weakening category 1 hurricane Irene is approaching the North Carolina coastline with landfall expected Saturday morning.
JeffMasters, • 7:58 AM GMT on August 27, 2011
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.
JeffMasters, • 8:46 PM GMT on August 26, 2011
Satellite data and measurements from the Hurricane Hunters show that Irene is weakening. A 9:21 am EDT center fix by an Air Force Reserve aircraft found that Irene's eyewall had collapsed, and the central pressure had risen to 946 mb from a low of 942 mb this morning. Irene is probably a mid-strength Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds, and has little prospect of intensifying before landfall in North Carolina on Saturday.
JeffMasters, • 3:14 PM GMT on August 26, 2011
Category 3 hurricane Irene is about to leave the Bahamas and is headed for the North Carolina coastline on Saturday.
JeffMasters, • 6:19 AM GMT on August 26, 2011
An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft investigating Irene has found a slightly weaker storm. As of 4pm EDT, the strongest surface winds seen by the aircraft with their SFMR instrument were 91 mph in the storm's northeast eyewall. Highest winds measured at their flight level of 10,000 feet were 107 mph. It's a good guess that Irene has fallen to Category 2 strength with 100 - 105 mph winds, even though the official advisory is higher.
JeffMasters, • 8:59 PM GMT on August 25, 2011
Hurricane Irene will likely hit Eastern North Carolina on Saturday, and then deliver an extremely destructive blow to the mid-Atlantic and New England states on Sunday. 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.
JeffMasters, • 2:55 PM GMT on August 25, 2011
Hurricane Irene will finish its trip over the Bahamas today and then start moving towards the Carolina coastline to make landfall there Saturday. On Sunday, Irene may be a significant storm for an area stretching from New Jersey to Cape Cod.
JeffMasters, • 7:51 AM GMT on August 25, 2011
Hurricane Irene remains a powerful category 3 this afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. Irene is moving northwest through the Bahamas at 12 mph, and its center has cleared the northern edge of Crooked Island. The next islands in the path of Irene are Rum Cay (population 80) and Cat Island (population 1700), which it will encounter later tonight.
JeffMasters, • 8:55 PM GMT on August 24, 2011
Powerful Category 3 Hurricane Irene stormed through the Turks and Caicos Islands overnight, bringing hurricane-force winds, torrential rains, and storm surge flooding. On Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where half of the population of these islands live, winds reached a sustained 65 mph at a personal weather station at Pine Cay, and the pressure bottomed out at 989 mb. The eyewall of Irene missed the island, with the center of the storm passing about 60 miles to the southwest.
JeffMasters, • 3:49 PM GMT on August 24, 2011
Hurricane Irene is currently impacting the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Bahamas can expect to feel Irene's winds later today. People living on the east coast of the US should closely monitor Irene for a potential landfall threat later this week.
JeffMasters, • 7:42 AM GMT on August 24, 2011
Hurricane Irene is a category 1 on the Saffir Simpson scale as of 5pm EDT, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and a minimum central pressure of 976 mb. Irene is moving to the west-northwest at 9 mph, and continues to impact Hispaniola. Satellite imagery shows a strong rain band continues to linger over the eastern Dominican Republic on the southeast side of Irene, but wind speeds appear to have decreased substantially in the country since this morning.
JeffMasters, • 9:57 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Hurricane Irene is pounding the north coast of the Dominican Republic this morning with tropical storm-force winds and torrential rains, as the storm continues to head west-northwest towards the Bahama Islands. Puerto Plata on the north coast of the Dominican Republic reported sustained winds of 58 mph at 5am local time this morning, with heavy rain. In the Turks and Caicos Islands ahead of Irene, winds have gusted to 42 - 49 mph this morning on Providenciales.
JeffMasters, • 3:32 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Category 2 hurricane Irene is approaching the Bahamas today, but it could threaten the Carolina coastline late this week.
JeffMasters, • 7:51 AM GMT on August 23, 2011
Hurricane Irene remains a category 1 on the Saffir Simpson hurricane wind scale, and continues to be a U.S. landfall threat for anywhere from southern Florida to North Carolina. In the 5pm EDT update from the National Hurricane Center, Irene had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Irene is moving west-northwest at 13 mph along the northern Hispaniola coastline.
JeffMasters, • 9:12 PM GMT on August 22, 2011
Hurricane Irene strengthened into 2011's first Atlantic hurricane at 5am EDT this morning as the eye moved over San Juan, Puerto Rico, and crossed into the ocean just north of the island. Overnight, Irene held its own as the eye passed over the most mountainous portion of Puerto Rico, the El Yunque region. Winds in the higher mountains likely reached Category 2 strength, and the hurricane pounded the island with damaging winds and flooding rains, resulting in widespread tree damage and power failures that hit 800,000 people.
JeffMasters, • 2:40 PM GMT on August 22, 2011
Tropical Storm Irene roared into life last night, transitioning from a tropical wave to a 50 mph tropical storm in just a few short hours. Irene is getting organized quickly, and has the potential to become a hurricane by Monday morning. All interests in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas, and South Florida should prepare for the arrival of this dangerous storm.
JeffMasters, • 2:38 PM GMT on August 21, 2011
Tropical Storm Irene roared into life this evening, transitioning from a tropical wave to a 50 mph tropical storm in just a few short hours. A hurricane hunter aircraft found region with intense thunderstorms and surface winds of 50 mph, with a center of circulation that had barely closed off on the southwest edge of this region. Dry air to the north and west is slowing development, as well as moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots.
JeffMasters, • 12:03 AM GMT on August 21, 2011
Tropical Storm Harvey is closing in towards a landfall this afternoon in Belize, and is dumping very heavy rains on northern Honduras, northern Guatemala, and Belize as it steadily moves west near 12 mph. A personal weather station on Roatan Island on the north coast of Honduras has received 6.68" of rain as of 10am EDT this morning. Radar shows that Harvey has appeared to close off an eyewall as of 10:30am EDT, which may allow the storm to intensify another 10 - 15 mph before landfall.
JeffMasters, • 4:16 PM GMT on August 20, 2011
Tropical Depression Eight formed last night near the coast of Honduras, and is headed westwards towards a landfall in Belize on Saturday. TD 8 is a small storm, so will impact a relatively small area of northern Honduras, northern Guatemala, all of Belize, and southern portions of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. TD 8 has just enough room between its center and the coast of Honduras to intensify into a moderate strength tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds before landfall.
JeffMasters, • 3:30 PM GMT on August 19, 2011
A westward-moving tropical wave in the Central Caribbean a few hundred miles south-southwest of Jamaica, Invest 93L, has continued to increase in organization, and is close to tropical depression status. 93L is a small system, but has built up a respectable area of heavy thunderstorms around its center. There is a hurricane hunter mission scheduled for this afternoon at 2pm EDT to see if a tropical depression is forming.
JeffMasters, • 3:04 PM GMT on August 18, 2011
JeffMasters, • 3:26 PM GMT on August 17, 2011
July 2011 was the globe's 7th warmest July on record, according to (NOAA), and 3rd warmest on record, according to NASA. July 2011 global land temperatures were the 5th warmest on record, and ocean temperatures were the 11th warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 3rd - 6th warmest in the 34-year record. Arctic sea ice in July was the lowest on record, going back to 1979.
JeffMasters, • 2:34 PM GMT on August 16, 2011
Tropical Storm Gert, the 7th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is here. Gert's formation on August 14 marks the 4th earliest date for the season's 7th storm. Only 2005, 1995, and 1936 have had an earlier formation of the season's 7th storm. Gert will pass very close to Bermuda today, but thus far the island has had no wind or rain from Gert, with top winds at the Bermuda Airport of just 9 mph as of 10 am EDT.
JeffMasters, • 2:30 PM GMT on August 15, 2011
The latest in our unusual number of weak tropical cyclones this season, Tropical Depression Seven, has formed to the southeast of Bermuda. Unless you live in Bermuda, TD 7 is not going to be a concern. Radar out of Bermuda shows an area of rain on the northern side of TD 7 beginning to approach the island, and rain from the storm will likely affect the island tonight and on Monday. TD 7 is not well-organized, and has only limited heavy thunderstorms.
JeffMasters, • 2:25 PM GMT on August 14, 2011
Tropical Storm Franklin, the sixth named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, formed this morning in the open Atlantic north of Bermuda. The usual date of formation for the 6th storm of the year is September 8, so we are well ahead of climatology. However, the usual date for the first hurricane of the season is August 10, and we still have not had a hurricane yet this year. All six of this year's storms have been tropical storms, making 2011 the first season since 2002 when that has occurred.
JeffMasters, • 4:41 PM GMT on August 13, 2011
It's a busy day in the tropical Atlantic, with the NHC tracking four areas of interest (Invests.) None of these systems is a danger to any land areas over the next three days. The disturbance of most concern is the one farthest from land, a tropical wave that emerged from the coast of Africa two days ago. This wave, (Invest 93L), is located about 500 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, and is moving westward at 15 - 20 mph. Recent visible satellite loops show that 93L is poorly organized.
JeffMasters, • 3:38 PM GMT on August 12, 2011
An African wave is near 13°N 35°W, about 700 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. This system, (Invest 92L), is moving west to west-northwest at 10 - 15 mph, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm before arriving near the northern Lesser Antilles Islands early next week. Recent visible satellite loops show that 92L has less heavy thunderstorm activity near where it is trying to develop its circulation center than yesterday.
JeffMasters, • 2:59 PM GMT on August 11, 2011
A strong African wave near 12.5°N 30.5°W, about 400 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands (Invest 92L), is moving west to west-northwest at 10 - 15 mph, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm before arriving near the northern Lesser Antilles Islands early next week. Recent visible satellite loops show that 92L is beginning to develop a surface circulation, and heavy thunderstorms are slowly building along the western edge of the center.
JeffMasters, • 4:59 PM GMT on August 10, 2011
According to the National Climatic Data Center's Climate Extremes Index, July 2011 was the most extreme July on record (since 1910) with a value of 37%. This month's record CEI was due to extreme warm minimum temperatures across the country, wet northern Plains and Great Lakes, extreme warm maximum temperatures, and the severe drought across the South and Gulf Coast.
JeffMasters, • 4:43 PM GMT on August 09, 2011
Last month, Arctic sea ice extent was the lowest ever recorded for any July in the 1979 to 2011 satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Most of the ice loss occurred in the first half of the month when high pressure made for clear skies and melting sunshine, and warm air blew into the Arctic from the south.
JeffMasters, • 5:26 PM GMT on August 08, 2011
The remnants of Emily reorganized into a tropical depression. Heavy rain expected in the Bahamas.
JeffMasters, • 4:28 AM GMT on August 07, 2011
Tropical Storm Emily degraded into an open tropical wave yesterday afternoon, after Hurricane Hunters could no longer locate a center of circulation at the surface. Through the morning yesterday, the storm appeared to lose most of its strong thunderstorm activity on the north side, and mid-level circulation appeared broad.
JeffMasters, • 4:54 PM GMT on August 05, 2011
Tropical Storm Emily remains unorganized this morning, and continues to linger just south of Haiti, near 17.3°N, 72.3°W. Emily is 90 miles south of Port au Prince, Haiti. Storm motion over the past 24 hours has been slow, varying between completely stopped and west to west-northwest at 5 mph. This motion (or lack thereof) is still something that the models aren't analyzing well.
JeffMasters, • 4:47 PM GMT on August 04, 2011
Tropical Storm Emily is slowly moving west, and will start effecting Haiti and eastern Cuba today.
JeffMasters, • 7:37 AM GMT on August 04, 2011
All afternoon, Tropical Storm Emily has remained on a westward track with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. In the 8pm EDT update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm was nearly stationary, with no forward movement. The storm gained some thunderstorm activity over its center of circulation throughout the day, but remains sheared to the east.
JeffMasters, • 12:37 AM GMT on August 04, 2011
In defiance to its forecast, Tropical Storm Emily continues to move due west this morning, and we wonder just how far west it will get before turning toward Hispaniola. Recent Hurricane Hunter missions have shown that Emily is still very poorly organized, and although the center of circulation is plainly obvious on satellite imagery, it's only because it is so displaced from the thunderstorm activity.
JeffMasters, • 5:06 PM GMT on August 03, 2011
Tropical storm Emily approaches the island of Hispaniola with an uncertain future afterwards.
JeffMasters, • 4:04 AM GMT on August 03, 2011
Tropical Storm Emily took a moment to pause this morning, with no forward motion to speak of in the 11am EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center, who say Emily might have been reorganizing. Emily eventually picked up some speed, and was moving west at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph in the 2pm EDT advisory.
JeffMasters, • 6:14 PM GMT on August 02, 2011
As of 5AM EDT, Tropical Storm Emily was located at 15.5N, 64.0W, moving W at 17 mph with sustained winds of 40 mph. Emily is forecast to move towards the NW, possibly making landfall in Florida.
JeffMasters, • 8:48 AM GMT on August 02, 2011
Tropical Storm Emily formed this afternoon after investigation by the Hurricane Hunters. While dodging the Lesser Antilles islands, the Hunters managed to find a closed surface circulation. Emily is currently located near 15.2°N, 62.0°W, and has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.
JeffMasters, • 12:09 AM GMT on August 02, 2011
Invest 91L, which is located near 14°N, 57°W, is showing signs of reorganization after a pretty rough weekend. On Saturday, the wave looked ripe to develop with organized convection and the hint of a surface circulation. On Sunday a Hurricane Hunter and NOAA G9 flew into the system only to find it disorganized and negatively influenced by the burst of convection that sprouted on its western edge.
JeffMasters, • 4:16 PM GMT on August 01, 2011