Irene pounds the Dominican Republic, heads for the Bahamas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:32 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 at personal weather stations at the Regent Grand and at Pine Cay. The latest hurricane hunter eye report at 10:38am EDT found a central pressure of 980 mb, and top surface winds of 85 mph using their SFMR instrument. The plane had not finished sampling the storm yet.

Yesterday, Irene hit Puerto Rico as a tropical storm with 70 mph winds, reaching hurricane strength as it emerged into the Atlantic northwest of the capital of San Juan. No deaths or major injuries have been reported thus far from the islands, though the storm knocked out power to 1 million residents of Puerto Rico, including the entire island Vieques; 28% of Puerto Rico had no running water Monday afternoon. Billionaire Richard Branson's 8-bedroom mansion on private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands was hit by lightning during the storm and burned down, and Branson relates on his blog how actress Kate Winslett had to carry out his 90-year-old mother from the main house to safety. Haiti has thus far escaped heavy rains from Irene, though the main danger comes today as the storm makes its closest approach to Haiti.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Irene, showing a hint of an eye starting to pop out.

Track forecast for Irene
Yesterday's dropsonde mission by the NOAA jet helped significantly narrow the uncertainty in the 1 - 3 day forecasts from the computer models. Irene will track through the Turks and Caicos islands today, the central Bahamas on Wednesday, and northwestern Bahamas on Thursday. However, the models still diverge considerably on their 4 - 5 days forecasts. One reliable model, the UKMET, takes Irene into South Carolina, while several others have the hurricane missing the Southeast U.S. completely, passing just offshore of the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Saturday. The official NHC forecast of a landfall along the North Carolina coast is a reasonable compromise, though with the models trending more eastwards of late, I would favor a landfall farther east than NHC is predicting. Irene will continue north or curve northeast after its encounter with North Carolina, and the hurricane could be a dangerous and destructive storm for the entire mid-Atlantic and New England coast.

A research project funded by NOAA known as the Joint Hurricane Testbed has produced a remarkable number of tools now in operational use at the National Hurricane Center to improve hurricane forecasts and warnings. One of these projects, called "Prediction of Consensus TC Track Forecast Error and Correctors to Improve Consensus TC Track Forecasts", was an effort by Dr. Jim Goerss at the Navy Research Lab to improve the accuracy of the NHC "cone of uncertainty" (AKA the "Cone of Death") showing where a storm is expected to track 2/3 of the time. The radius of the circles that make up the cone are based on error statistics of the official NHC forecast over the past five years. We can expect in certain situations, such as when the models are in substantial disagreement, a consensus forecast made using these models will have much greater than average errors. Since the NHC typically bases their forecast on a consensus forecast made using a combination of reliable hurricane forecasting models, it is instructive to view the "GPCE" (Goerss Prediction Consensus Error) circles to see if the uncertainty cone should be smaller or larger than usual. The consensus forecast I'll look at is called "TVCN", and is constructed by averaging the track forecasts made by most of (or all) of these models: GFS, ECMWF, NOGAPS, GFDL, HWRF, GFDN, and UKMET. In the case of this morning's 12 UTC (8am EDT) runs of these models, here is what the radius of the "cone of uncertainty" should be, in nautical miles:

12 hours: 27 nm
24 hours: 44 nm
36 hours: 64 nm
48 hours: 81 nm
72 hours: 137 nm
96 hours: 201 nm
120 hours: 308 nm

And here is the radius of NHC's "cone of uncertainty" for their official forecast, based on the average errors for the past five years:

12 hours: 36 nm
24 hours: 59 nm
36 hours: 79 nm
48 hours: 98 nm
72 hours: 144 nm
96 hours: 190 nm
120 hours: 239 nm

So, the GPCE error estimates are showing that the latest forecasts for Irene are better than average over the 1 - 3 day time period, and worse than average for 4 - 5 days. Note the error estimate of 308 nm (355 miles) for today's 5-day forecast. That's more than the distance from New York City to Boston, suggesting that we really don't know what portions of New England might be at most risk from Irene. It is still quite possible the core of the hurricane could miss New England.

Intensity forecast for Irene
Latest microwave data suggests that Irene does not have full eyewall; a gap exists in the southwest side. With wind shear now a moderate 10 - 20 knots, Irene may have trouble intensifying today. The hurricane is embedded in a large envelope of moisture, and wind shear is expected to remain moderate, 10 - 20 knots, for the next four days. With water temperatures very warm, 29 - 30°C, these conditions should allow for intensification to a Category 3 storm sometime in the next two days. Satellite loops show that Irene is steadily growing in size, which will protect the storm against major disruption by wind shear. The storm is lacking much development on its southwest side, where the presence of Hispaniola is interfering with development. Once Irene pulls away from Hispaniola tonight, intensification is more likely.

Irene's impact on the Turks and Caicos Islands
Heavy rains from Irene have already reached the Turks and Caicos Islands, which form the southeastern portion of the Bahama Islands chain. The last hurricane to affect the Turks and Caicos islands was Hurricane Ike of 2008. Ike's northern eyewall devastated Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, and a few other smaller cays when the storm was at Category 4 strength. Ike then weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds before making a direct hit on Great Inagua Island. Approximately 70-80% of the houses on Great Inagua Island sustained roof damage, and 25% had major damage or were destroyed. The Morton Salt factory on the island was forced to halt operations as Ike damaged its offices and loading docks. A few West Indian flamingos were killed by Ike but most of the 50,000 flamingos in Inagua National Park--the world's largest colony--survived by taking shelter within the park's mangroves or flying to other islands. Risk Management Solutions estimates that total damage costs are between $50 and $200 million (USD) for the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. Irene will be weaker than Ike, so will not do as much damage. The main threat from Irene will be wind damage.


Figure 2. The path of Hurricane Ike of 2008 took it through the Turks and Caicos Islands as a Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds (pink colors).

Irene's impact on the Bahama Islands
Irene will pass through the length of the Bahama Island chain and cause widespread destruction on those islands unfortunate enough to encounter the storm's right front eyewall. Currently, it appears that Crooked, Cat, Exuma, Eleuthera, and Abaco Islands are all in danger of experiencing the eyewall of Irene, which will be capable of bringing storm surges of 9 - 13 feet. The current forecast puts the Bahamas' two most developed islands--New Providence and Grand Bahama--on the weaker west side of Irene, where Category 1 hurricane winds are likely. These winds will likely cause considerable but not devastating damage. Irene will come very close to the capital city of Nassau on New Providence Island on Thursday morning, home to 70% of the population of the Bahamas. Nassau has received direct hits from three major hurricanes since 1851--the Category 4 Nassau Hurricane of 1926, which killed 287 people, a Category 4 hurricane in 1866 that killed 387 people, and a Category 3 hurricane in August 1949. The island is vulnerable to high storm surges--a ten-foot storm surge is theoretically possible on the south shore of Nassau in a Category 3 hurricane. However, the south shore of the island is relatively undeveloped, and the city of Nassau and Paradise Island are mostly higher than ten feet in elevation. A much higher storm surge of 20 feet is possible along the southwest shore of Exuma Island, but again, this shore is not heavily developed.


Figure 3. The height above ground that a mid-strength Category 3 hurricane with 120 - 125 mph winds would push a storm surge 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 3 storms with different tracks. Thus, no single storm will be able to cause the level of flooding depicted in this SLOSH storm surge image.

Irene a potential multi-billion dollar disaster for New England and the mid-Atlantic
Though it is still possible the core of Irene will miss the U.S., the current NHC official forecast would mean that Irene would bring destructive flash flooding, significant beach damage, and widespread power outages due to tree damage along the entire U.S. coast from North Carolina to Maine, costing several billion dollars. If Irene ends up skirting the Outer Banks of North Carolina and not significantly weakening, then plowing through the mid-Atlantic and New England states as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, it could become one of the ten most damaging hurricanes in history. The latest 06Z (2am EDT) run of the GFS model puts Irene ashore in Southeast Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon as a large storm with a central pressure of 974 mb. The latest run of the ECMWF model has Irene with a central pressure of 964 mb over Chesapeake Bay, and 972 mb over New Jersey. These central pressures correspond to strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane strengths, and are similar to what Hurricane Floyd or 1999 had when it moved up the mid-Atlantic coast after hitting North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane. Floyd was the 14th most damaging hurricane in history, with total damages estimated at $9.2 billion (2010 dollars.) Most of the damage was in North Carolina, which experienced its worst flooding on record. If the GFS and ECMWF models are correct, Irene could easily be a $10 billion hurricane, causing widespread damage along a long section of heavily populated coast. The most damaging Northeast U.S. hurricane of all time was Hurricane Agnes of 1972, with damages estimated at $11.8 billion (2010 dollars.) Currently, it appears that Irene will hit North Carolina on Saturday, and New England on Sunday. I strongly urge all residents of the coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts to assess their hurricane preparedness immediately, and anticipate the possibility of hurricane conditions this weekend.

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.

Elsewhere in the tropics
There are two tropical waves far out in the eastern Atlantic, Invest 90L and Invest 98L, that NHC is giving 20% chances of developing into tropical depressions by Thursday. At present, the long-range models are showing that both of these disturbances 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.

Texas/Oklahoma heat wave sets all-time 100° records
The unprecedented heat wave gripping Texas and Oklahoma set several new all-time heat records yesterday. The high temperature hit 101° at the Houston Intercontinental Airport yesterday, the 22nd consecutive day of 100°+ heat and 33rd day of 100°+ heat in the city. Both are all-time records for the city. Oklahoma City recorded its 51st day of 100°+ temperatures yesterday, breaking the record for most such days in year, set previously in 1980. Temperature records for Oklahoma City date back to 1891.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Irene (LRandyB)
Ragged eye of Irene
Hurricane Irene
Tragic (rlwhipkey)
This is the scene around Lake Sam Rayburn. Dead fish every 20 yards or so and dead fresh water clams everywhere. The lake is 11 feet low and is losing about an inch a day.
Tragic

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I don't think there is actually a reason for doing it, maybe more of a not thinking about the reason to not do it. I could imagine that years ago when the internet first was developing there was a much smaller group of qualified people who even found this information. And as many things have done on the internet, they evolve, and not everyone understands the info provided, and many more use it incorrectly out of not fully understanding the information provided.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
From the latest NHC discussion

THE HURRICANE WILL BE TRAVERSING VERY WARM WATERS DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS. HOWEVER...THE UPPER-LEVEL PATTERN IS NOT IDEAL FOR
RAPID DEVELOPMENT...AND THE GLOBAL MODELS SUGGEST MODERATE WESTERLY
SHEAR WILL CONTINUE FOR ANOTHER DAY OR TWO.



plzs get too your point
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Quoting ncstorm:


well, how can it push it if its weak?


Irene is already heading northward, it will just coax it along per say.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
1684. Skyepony (Mod)
Gonzo is in the Northern Bahamas chucking dropsondes. Kermit took off from near Tampa, flew across South FL toward the Bahamas & Irene, ~15,000' with the SFMR on. AF300 is headed back to ST Croix after four center fixes.
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1683. Gorty
Oh dear, more of a threat to me here in western Mass. 85 mph WITH HIGHER GUSTS is going to deal lots of damage up here...
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Quoting MississippiWx:


I don't know about that...A stronger outbreak would signify to me a stronger trof. I'm not so sure that would provide enough heat in the atmosphere to extend the ridge west, considering it would be evolving from cold-core processes.


I'll illustrate what I mean.

Using the most recent run of the NAM model...

Note the cold front associated with the next trough.







Note how quickly it lifts in the last frame and how it stalls along the coast.

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Quoting TerraNova:
Recently updated model runs (full resolution), click here for interactive model map.

...SEVERAL OF THE MODELS...INCLUDING THE
GFS...ECMWF...HWRF...AND GFDL...SHOW A TURN BACK TOWARD THE NORTH
NEAR THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THIS APPEARS TO BE IN RESPONSE
TO A WEAK TROUGH THAT MOVES THROUGH THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
BEHIND THE HURRICANE...


Looks like part of the track of Hurricane Bob
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


There is almost no way it will miss that trough, sure the trough could be a little weaker/stronger than anticipated, but it would be nearly impossible for it to completely miss it.


Irene is moving slowly and it is a large storm. It all depends now on timing, and the strength of the trough.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
From the latest NHC discussion

THE HURRICANE WILL BE TRAVERSING VERY WARM WATERS DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS. HOWEVER...THE UPPER-LEVEL PATTERN IS NOT IDEAL FOR
RAPID DEVELOPMENT...AND THE GLOBAL MODELS SUGGEST MODERATE WESTERLY
SHEAR WILL CONTINUE FOR ANOTHER DAY OR TWO.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


The central dense overcast is really building up now just like yesterday at this time. (dur min)

Tonight Hispaniola isn't in the way.

The NHC predicted the transition from CAT 2 to CAT 3 would be tonight, I'd say they were right on the money and Irene's about to put on quite a show.

Don't be surprised by the rapid pressure drop and windspeed increases to 120 overnight tonight.
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1677. Vero1
Quoting NWHoustonMom:


oooohh... especially if she goes thru DC and NYC....

creepy...
And if it slows down and hit NYC 2 days later it will on 9/1/11
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Quoting CharsletonAsrock:



I beleive the reality is that it is to far away to know for sure yet. You may have to wait til mid day tomorrow to know with some confidents. The chance exsists, MB is within the cone still.
sigh ok. They are in Las Vegas (having bad time, I heard) and they left their late teenager childrens behind in Charleston as well as family shop. They are not sure whatever to return to Charleston if Irene is going to hit it or not because Irene is no threat.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8173
Quoting dracko19:


That looks like an optimal illusion to me based on the center getting devoid of convection and then a large blossom coming up. Take a look at the visible and it appears to be chugging along WNW on a consistent speed.



It looks like it's not moving much in the last few frames of the visible but like the NHC said it's still moving WNW at 9 MPH, slowing down from earlier advisories if you want you can go back and look. I think the slow down is now a result of her starting to move more NW instead of WNW.
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Quoting BrockBerlin:


I agree that emergency managers/ local governments should be getting ready very early but really the general public should generally not be stirred to a panic until it is at most 72 hours out, which leaves plenty of time for evacuation decisions/ gathering supplies.

Oh, I agree. The panic-mongering is ridiculous. And ultimately unhelpful, since people get so sick of it that they ignore the message entirely.

The way the news stations and weathercasters are all vying for ratings and hyping this to be the storm of the century just creates more panic, more of a mob mentality when people rush out to get last minute supplies.

The point is to be aware and prepared in time to act, not to be paralyzed with panic by the time action is finally required.
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1672. ncstorm
Quoting alvarig1263:


Because it will not be pulling the storm northward, it will come in behind after Irene is up near NC and VA and push it out to sea.


well, how can it push it if its weak?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 18178
Quoting ncstorm:


this is suspect to me..how can a weak trough turn a major out to sea?


Because it will not be pulling the storm northward, it will come in behind after Irene is up near NC and VA and push it out to sea.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
You should not make any plans (ANY) Based on what any blogger says on this site!!!!!   React with accurate information from your local authorities.  There are a lot of people on this site that look like they know what they are talking about but are not Mets.  Trust you local met he or she was hired to know what they are talking about.
Quoting Bluestorm5:
I knew it was going to be just another one of those overhyped strong hurricanes that misses NC coast... this is why no one in central NC believes hurricane will hit them anymore...

My question that wasn't responsed: What's the chances of models shifting west and making landfall on Mrytle Beach? I really need to know this because someone's vacation is either going to end soon or not (I'm serious).



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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Think it will become a major hurricane by morning?


Not out of the realm of possibility, provided Irene does not ingest anymore dry air.
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Worry when it starts to steer clear from Hispaniola. Looks like it did what Ike did when he was in the GOM, the pressure plummeted but not the winds.
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Recently updated model runs (full resolution), click here for interactive model map.

...SEVERAL OF THE MODELS...INCLUDING THE
GFS...ECMWF...HWRF...AND GFDL...SHOW A TURN BACK TOWARD THE NORTH
NEAR THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THIS APPEARS TO BE IN RESPONSE
TO A WEAK TROUGH THAT MOVES THROUGH THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
BEHIND THE HURRICANE...

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This storm continues to strengthen. Pressure overrides wind speed. The wind speed will catch up to the pressure. Always does. Watch the pressure. Large explosion of convection going up right now.
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now that is Eerie

That is not the only thing eerie; tomorrow is the 19th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew's landfall.
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Quoting Bretts9112:

I agree with you on the part that it looks less likely to have a direct hit on the east coast would be cool to see the waves at the beaches this weekend


oh yes that would be nice...but any time these models can start shifting back west again...even if NC misses a direct hit i say New England is still going to get it
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1661. ncstorm
Quoting ncstorm:
The dreaded turn???

THE TRACK
GUIDANCE IS IN REMARKABLY GOOD AGREEMENT DURING THIS TIME AND THERE
IS HIGH CONFIDENCE IN THAT PORTION OF THE FORECAST. AFTER THAT...
IRENE IS FORECAST TO MOVE NORTHWARD TO NORTHEASTWARD AROUND THE
ATLANTIC RIDGE. SEVERAL OF THE MODELS...INCLUDING THE
GFS...ECMWF...HWRF...AND GFDL...SHOW A TURN BACK TOWARD THE NORTH
NEAR THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THIS APPEARS TO BE IN RESPONSE
TO A WEAK TROUGH THAT MOVES THROUGH THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
BEHIND THE HURRICANE. THE UPDATED TRACK FORECAST HAS BEEN SHIFTED
EASTWARD AT 72 AND 96 HOURS BUT THE NEW 5-DAY POINT IS STILL ALONG
THE LEFT SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE...IN AGREEMENT WITH THE
MODELS MENTIONED ABOVE. USERS ARE REMINDED THAT LARGE FORECAST
ERRORS ARE POSSIBLE AT THE LONGER LEAD TIMES.


this is suspect to me..how can a weak trough turn a major out to sea?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 18178
looking more and more like Irene is a complete Whiff to the CONUS
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
I knew it was going to be just another one of those overhyped strong hurricanes that misses NC coast... this is why no one in central NC believes hurricane will hit them anymore...

My question that wasn't responsed: What's the chances of models shifting west and making landfall on Mrytle Beach? I really need to know this because someone's vacation is either going to end soon or not (I'm serious).



I beleive the reality is that it is to far away to know for sure yet. You may have to wait til mid day tomorrow to know with some confidents. The chance exsists, MB is within the cone still.
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Quoting alvarig1263:


Exactly, miss the trough and models will go nuts.


That indirectly answered my question lol.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Don't pay to much attention to that as I suspect the weakening trend is over. With a pressure of 976 it is only a matter of time before the winds respond by increasing. Fortunately Irene didn't get it together earlier but a new round of deep convection is occurring now. When the heavy weather arrives it will be quite nasty.


I understand, it's better than then saying it's cat 3 already at 5pm
I realize I am looking for any positives I can, while being ready/ resigned to getting a major whack
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1654. HCW
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Quoting CharsletonAsrock:
So question for all, and I am not trying to be mean or disrespectfull to anyone by saying this. But why post a hurricane track 5 days out, with the knowledge that is likely 90% chance of being wrong(that far out)? You get some peoples attention when you do that and they start paying attention. But then the track changes and I believe this to have a negative effect on the general public taking a storm seriously when they should. This can be very true along the SE coast where it seems like every storm the past couple years has come out the coast and then turned away at the last minute. People see the NHC predicting a hit somewhere in 5 days and they will start ignoring it becuse there have been so many bads calls that far out. Once again just stating what I see and I am in no way attacking NHC or others, they do thier best with what information is presented to them.


See, that's the way you bring up a disagreement.

Anyway, the NHC has to go with what they have at the forecast time. A 5-day cone is needed to warn people of an upcoming strike. The NHC emphasizes strongly to not focus on the actual line because of their average 5-day track error. North Carolina was not originally in the cone, and now they look to receive a direct hit. However, things change that far out and NC still has plenty of time to prepare for a strike, even now. Overall the 5-day cone is very useful. If you choose to ignore the cone because of history, then you might be history. If you're in the cone, pay attention. That's all you can do.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Irene is exactly on its forecast point from the 5 a.m. discussion for 12 hours later.

Irene is 20 mph weaker than the 5 a.m. discussion said it would be now.



its olny 5 or 10mph weaker not 20
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Quoting weatherlover94:


yes we are all watching but it is continuing to look less likely...im thinking an Earl 2010 track right now just off shore

I agree with you on the part that it looks less likely to have a direct hit on the east coast would be cool to see the waves at the beaches this weekend
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1650. LargoFl
Quoting Bassfishing123:
I have learned from tracking this storm that the 4 or 5 day out tracks..I dont put alot of stock in them because I have seen this hit from fla. to sc. to maybe nc. now. so a word of advice maybe we should wait and see before going into a panic 4 or 5 days out. Just saying.
I have to agree with you on this one, the storm as of 5pm has not made that all important turn to the north and is moving wnw still...florida northward, keep a good eye on this storm
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1649. ncstorm
The dreaded turn???

THE TRACK
GUIDANCE IS IN REMARKABLY GOOD AGREEMENT DURING THIS TIME AND THERE
IS HIGH CONFIDENCE IN THAT PORTION OF THE FORECAST. AFTER THAT...
IRENE IS FORECAST TO MOVE NORTHWARD TO NORTHEASTWARD AROUND THE
ATLANTIC RIDGE. SEVERAL OF THE MODELS...INCLUDING THE
GFS...ECMWF...HWRF...AND GFDL...SHOW A TURN BACK TOWARD THE NORTH
NEAR THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THIS APPEARS TO BE IN RESPONSE
TO A WEAK TROUGH THAT MOVES THROUGH THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
BEHIND THE HURRICANE. THE UPDATED TRACK FORECAST HAS BEEN SHIFTED
EASTWARD AT 72 AND 96 HOURS BUT THE NEW 5-DAY POINT IS STILL ALONG
THE LEFT SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE...IN AGREEMENT WITH THE
MODELS MENTIONED ABOVE. USERS ARE REMINDED THAT LARGE FORECAST
ERRORS ARE POSSIBLE AT THE LONGER LEAD TIMES.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 18178
Just on the news now, the weatherman said that the storm needs to slow down in order to make the turn to the north, just like when we take a turn while driving a car.. They expect it to turn between now and tomorrow night.. We will see..
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I knew it was going to be just another one of those overhyped strong hurricanes that misses NC coast... this is why no one in central NC believes hurricane will hit them anymore...

My question that wasn't responsed: What's the chances of models shifting west and making landfall on Mrytle Beach? I really need to know this because someone's vacation is either going to end soon or not (I'm serious).
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8173
Irene is exactly on its forecast point from the 5 a.m. discussion for 12 hours later.

Irene is 20 mph weaker than the 5 a.m. discussion said it would be now.
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Quoting CharsletonAsrock:
So question for all, and I am not trying to be mean or disrespectfull to anyone by saying this. But why post a hurricane track 5 days out, with the knowledge that is likely 90% chance of being wrong(that far out)? You get some peoples attention when you do that and they start paying attention. But then the track changes and I believe this to have a negative effect on the general public taking a storm seriously when they should. This can be very true along the SE coast where it seems like every storm the past couple years has come out the coast and then turned away at the last minute. People see the NHC predicting a hit somewhere in 5 days and they will start ignoring it becuse there have been so many bads calls that far out. Once again just stating what I see and I am in no way attacking NHC or others, they do thier best with what information is presented to them.


I couldn't agree more
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Quoting CharsletonAsrock:
So question for all, and I am not trying to be mean or disrespectfull to anyone by saying this. But why post a hurricane track 5 days out, with the knowledge that is likely 90% chance of being wrong(that far out)? You get some peoples attention when you do that and they start paying attention. But then the track changes and I believe this to have a negative effect on the general public taking a storm seriously when they should. This can be very true along the SE coast where it seems like every storm the past couple years has come out the coast and then turned away at the last minute. People see the NHC predicting a hit somewhere in 5 days and they will start ignoring it becuse there have been so many bads calls that far out. Once again just stating what I see and I am in no way attacking NHC or others, they do thier best with what information is presented to them.

Because it takes an enormous amount of time to mobilize an evacuation of onshore and offshore assets, and then to mobilize post-disaster assistance, such as calling in the national guard. Giving everyone at least a week to be on notice that they MIGHT be activated is much more cost effective than trying to wrangle it all in under 48 hours. (This is especially important with nuclear plants, oil refineries, offshore platforms, and other settings that could cause a major environmental disaster.) One of the big lessons of Katrina, Ike, and Rita has been for people to get out early -- and Rita seemed to come out of nowhere. Everyone's attention was elsewhere, and suddenly there was Rita.
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Quoting Bretts9112:

I wouldnt say that low but its less likely to hit FL if your any wheres on the east coast you should keep an eye on it thats all i hvae to say


yes we are all watching but it is continuing to look less likely...im thinking an Earl 2010 track right now just off shore
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
I LIKE LOWERING to Cat 1 !!!


Don't pay to much attention to that as I suspect the weakening trend is over. With a pressure of 976 it is only a matter of time before the winds respond by increasing. Fortunately Irene didn't get it together earlier but a new round of deep convection is occurring now. When the heavy weather arrives it will be quite nasty.
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Can the weakening of Irene give the storm more of a west ward track?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
the slower the storm gos the less of the ch the storm has in turning N at the last sac


Exactly, miss the trough and models will go nuts.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
1637. Seastep
Quoting CharsletonAsrock:
So question for all, and I am not trying to be mean or disrespectfull to anyone by saying this. But why post a hurricane track 5 days out, with the knowledge that is likely 90% chance of being wrong(that far out)? You get some peoples attention when you do that and they start paying attention. But then the track changes and I believe this to have a negative effect on the general public taking a storm seriously when they should. This can be very true along the SE coast where it seems like every storm the past couple years has come out the coast and then turned away at the last minute. People see the NHC predicting a hit somewhere in 5 days and they will start ignoring it becuse there have been so many bads calls that far out. Once again just stating what I see and I am in no way attacking NHC or others, they do thier best with what information is presented to them.


You can turn it to 3-day if you prefer. Choices...

And, don't look at the line. Look at the cone. It is only 33% outside the cone, even five days out, on average. That is what the cone is... historical forecast error... 67% within the cone. 33% out.

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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