Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene and the last on TD10: August 27, Update A

Hello my friends! I've been watching Irene as she moved on shore in North Carolina mid-morning. I'm glad they downgraded her winds further, so she was a mid-level cat 1 storm at that time with winds of 85mph (cat 1 range: 74-95mph).

She is currently at 35.5N, 76.3W moving NNE at 13mph. Winds are still officially 85mph, with a central pressure of 950mb. The main thing as she weakens will be the water impact rather than the wind - rain (including river flooding from rain) and storm surge if you live along the coast. Just before she got to North Carolina she did pick up some moisture because she was over the Gulf Stream, so they have had a lot of rain methinks (in some parts). However, as she moves farther north, that should diminish a bit - and it looks like it is already diminishing. I think she's probably now barely a cat 1 storm, and if you look at the IR satellite image, you'll see that although she covers a large area, most of that is clouds and light rain. There is no deep convection (no red or grey).

By the time she gets to NY and New England, I expect her to be a Tropical Storm (range: 39-73mph).

Speaking of storm surge, I don't think I've mentioned where you can monitor the water levels along the coast for yourselves yet. The National Ocean Service section of NOAA runs an excellent site called Tides Online ( If you go there, currently you will see on the left side of the page a list of stations that they have identified for this storm. But my preference is to click on the link on the left that says 'State Maps'. That will bring up a map of the US (and the world). Click on the state of interest (umm... how about North Carolina as a random pick?). This will bring up a map of the state with red dots (and the locations) which indicate where they have water level stations. So if I click on Wrightsville Beach, you will see some graphs:

 The top graph (water levels) has three lines on it. The blue line is the predicted water level, which includes the daily tidal variations. The red line is the actual observed water level. The green line is the difference, and will show what the actual surge component of the water level will be. So for Wrightsville, we see that storm surge peaked at 3-4ft, whereas if you go to Duck, NC, you can see it looks like it surged at about 2ft. If we look at Maryland, it looks like the water is about 0.5ft above normal in the Annapolis/Baltimore region, and moving farther north, in Montauk, Long Island, NY, it looks like at the moment the water is also just about 0.5ft higher than normal and rising. You can monitor the water levels at your leisure. 

From in the field, Jennifer in North Carolina wrote at around 12.30pm today:
"So Irene is like a bad house guest. She just doesn't know when to leave! The eye is well north of Wilmington, but the winds are still gusting up to 50+ MPH. We've has TS winds since around 10 PM last night. The power has flickered, but the longest I was without power has been about 5 minutes. The houses built along the coast are faring much worse.

Jay's family lives in Cedar Island, NC. The eye of the storm passed directly over Cedar Island around 10 AM this morning. Jay's dad didn't leave town for the storm. Jay spoke to him around 8 AM and water was starting to come into his house. We haven't heard anything since that time. We are going to try to get up there tomorrow (Sunday). We can't get up any earlier than that because: 1) roads are flooded and 2) they still have hurricane strenght winds which won't deminish to TS winds until late this evening.

All in all everything is ok at my house. Lots of limbs down in the yard and lots of standing water but that's about it."

I hope everyone is ok!

As for wimpy Tropical Depression 10, although it is hanging out in the same general vicinity there is almost no convection. Unless it does something interesting, this is my last entry on this system.

I'll be back tomorrow with more shinanigans from Irene.  Everyone stay safe!!

Blogs archived at
Twitter @JyovianStorm

DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

No comments: