Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene Briefing August 25 Evening

Looking at the latest visible satellite imagery, I do believe Irene may be wobbling north northeast, which would make her eventual track potentially shift east.
However, hurricanes always wobble, and this could be one of those times. I will check back in tomorrow morning at 6 am.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips (From FEMA)

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, the generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface.
All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes or tropical storms. Parts of the Southwest United States and the Pacific Coast experience heavy rains and floods each year from hurricanes spawned off Mexico. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak season from mid-August to late October.
Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Winds can exceed 155 miles per hour. Hurricanes and tropical storms can also spawn tornadoes and microbursts, create storm surges along the coast, and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall.
Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on their wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential (see chart). Category Three and higher hurricanes are considered major hurricanes, though Categories One and Two are still extremely dangerous and warrant your full attention.
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Scale Number
Sustained Winds
DamageStorm Surge
174-95Minimal: Unanchored mobile homes,
vegetation and signs.
4-5 feet
296-110Moderate: All mobile homes, roofs,
small crafts, flooding.
6-8 feet
3111-130Extensive: Small buildings, low-lying
roads cut off.
9-12 feet
4131-155Extreme: Roofs destroyed, trees
down, roads cut off, mobile homes
destroyed. Beach homes flooded.
13-18 feet
5More than 155Catastrophic: Most buildings
destroyed. Vegetation destroyed.
Major roads cut off. Homes flooded.
Greater than 18 feet
Hurricanes can produce widespread torrential rains. Floods are the deadly and destructive result. Slow moving storms and tropical storms moving into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides, especially in mountainous regions. Flash flooding can occur due to intense rainfall. Flooding on rivers and streams may persist for several days or more after the storm.
Between 1970 and 1999, more people lost their lives from freshwater inland flooding associated with land falling tropical cyclones than from any other weather hazard related to tropical cyclones.
Map of hurricane direct hits on the continental United States
Naming the Hurricanes
Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center and now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. The lists featured only women’s names until 1979. After that, men’s and women’s names were alternated. Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2001 lists will be used again in 2007.
The only time there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the continued use of the name would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity. When this occurs, the name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it.
Sometimes names are changed. Lorenzo replaced Luis and Michelle replaced Marilyn. The complete lists can be found at under “Storm Names.”
Know the Terms
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a hurricane hazard:
Tropical Depression: An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 MPH (33 knots) or less. Sustained winds are defined as one-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft (10 meters) above the surface.
Tropical Storm: An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39–73 MPH (34–63 knots).
Hurricane: An intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 MPH (64 knots) or higher.
Storm Surge: A dome of water pushed onshore by hurricane and tropical storm winds. Storm surges can reach 25 feet high and be 50–1000 miles wide.
Storm Tide: A combination of storm surge and the normal tide (i.e., a 15-foot storm surge combined with a 2-foot normal high tide over the mean sea level created a 17-foot storm tide).
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch: Hurricane/tropical storm conditions are possible in the specified area, usually within 36 hours. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning: Hurricane/tropical storm conditions are expected in the specified area, usually within 24 hours.
Short Term Watches and Warnings: These warnings provide detailed information about specific hurricane threats, such as flash floods and tornadoes.

For More Information

If you require more information about any of these topics, the following are resources that may be helpful.
FEMA Publications
Against the Wind: Protecting Your Home from Hurricane and Wind Damage. FEMA-247. A guide to hurricane preparedness.
Community Hurricane Preparedness. IS-324. CD-ROM or Web-based training course for federal, state, and local emergency managers.
Safety Tips for Hurricanes. L 105. Publication for teachers and parents for presentation to children. To order, call 1 (800) 480-2520.
Other Publications
Protect Your Home against Hurricane Damage, Institute for Business and Home Safety. 110 William Street, New York, NY 20038

Take Protective Measures

Before a Hurricane
To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
  • Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Consider building a safe room.
Satellite image of a hurricane
During a Hurricane
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks.· Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
  • If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure—such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building—hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
  • If you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm - winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
After a Hurricane
Follow the instructions for recovering from a disaster in Part 5.

Real-Time Hurricane Irene Tropical Storm/50 knot/Hurricane Wind Speed Probability Images

Tropical Storm Wind Speed Probabilities

50 knot wind speed probabilities 
Hurricane Wind Speed Probabilities (Category 1 winds)
This is an automatic post, meaning that the publisher created this post earlier today and designated this post to automatically publish at a designated time because the publisher could not be near a posting area at the time. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that these images will actually be 'real-time' but will likely remain at this projection for the next couple hours at least.

Current Real-Time Track & Surface Winds, Watches/Warnings of Hurricane Irene

This is an automatic post, meaning the publisher has scheduled this post to be sent out at a designated time. Therefore, we cannot guarantee this track is 'real-time', but we can say that the track will probably not change in the next few hours.

NWS orders RAOBs to launch every six hours for Hurricane Irene

The NWS has ordered sites that launch RAOBs, or items that basically measure the atmosphere many different ways, to launch every six hours due to a trof's movement that could affect Hurricane Irene. This is a rare occurrence and details the severity of this situation.

August 25: Mandatory Evacuation Notice: Ocean City, Maryland


National Weather Service Forecast Offices for people affected by Hurricane Irene

A personal plea from the Publisher

To all people living along the East Coast-
I have run this blog for 16 months. I take great pride in it and hold great responsibility to myself to keep you informed.
I an begging those along the East Coast to PLEASE make preparations for a hurricane.
Warn your neighbors, friends, family.
Some will laugh at the concept of a hurricane striking the East Coast, but I am genuinely worried as a meteorologist, a forecaster, and a citizen for lives and property in the OBX areas and regions surrounding it.
Check your local forecast office from the National Weather Service, as hurricane WARNINGS have been hoisted for the East Coast.
Please heed evacuation warnings, and be safe.
Pack things now in the event of a flash flood from Irene or a mandatory evacuation notice along the east coast, especially near OBX.

August 25: Morning Models Shift WEST

Overnight models are now beginning the shift westward again. In the latest ECMWF and GFS, both runs shifted a bit west.

The isobars on the ECMWF are so tight you can't even tell if/where it makes landfall on NC. Either way, the Outer Banks area (OBX) of North Carolina will definitely be in a rough spot in this time frame, about 3 days away. If you are in the path of this storm, I am strongly advising you to consider evacuating. This storm will be the worst in 60 years as referenced by Meteorologist Jim Cantore.
NHC track