Irene is for real

Hurricane Irene is currently located in the strip between the greater and lesser Antillies, heading west-northwest where it will seriously affect The Bahamas and related islands north of Cuba and east of Florida. By late afternoon, Irene will likely be a Category 3 Hurricane.

The storm will turn northerly over the next couple of days. Its exact track is very uncertain as it moves north along the Florida coast and roughly in the direction of the part of the US East Coast that sticks out to the east around South Carolina.

The current most likely track (with a fair amount of uncertainty) places the eye of the storm dozens of miles off shore at the border of North and South Carolina (south of Virginia Beach) by Saturday night or early Sunday. This is VERY uncertain … the storm could easily be bearing down on Myrtle Beach South Carolina, or it could be farther off shore menacing beachgoers with heavy rain and high waves. In any event, there will be high waves, so be careful near the beach!

It is possible that the storm will travel parallel with the coast with the eye going inland around Long Island or Connecticut. Shades of ’38? The storm is predicted to retain its hurricane strength status all the way north if this happens. People in Fire Island, keep an eye on Irene!

The National Hurricane Center web site is here. Also keep an eye on Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog.

Comments

  1. #1 Lynn Wilhelm
    August 24, 2011

    First an earthquake, now a hurricane. When I heard my front door rattling yesterday my first thought was wind. We’ve been thinking a lot about Irene here in NC.

    I have to say that I love wild weather, I just hope no one gets hurt. It looks like the NC outer banks will get the worst of it for our state, but it’s not unusual for one to come right inland. If Irene stays a little west we could really see it in the Raleigh area. Fran did that in the 90′s and Hugo did it to Charlotte in the 80′s.

  2. #2 rob
    August 24, 2011

    i think i prefer the occasional tornado and blizzard that we get in MN.

  3. #3 Bacopa
    August 24, 2011

    Won’t somebody think of the ponies!

    Seriously, I wish all of you in the Outer Banks, Hampton Roads, and the Eastern Shore the best of luck. At least you have some slope to your ground, so the areas of evacuation shouldn’t be that huge.

    Been through this a few times myself.

  4. #4 hoary puccoon
    August 25, 2011

    Lynn Wilhelm–

    Hugo in 1989 “did it” to just about everybody. We went through Hugo on a boat in Antigua (the Caribbean) and it was not fun.

    One thing about hurricane waves; on top of very large waves(measured crest to trough) there can be a storm surge, in which the whole, general level of the sea is higher than normal. The most dangerous effect of this is that coastal formations like sand bars and salt marshes are completely covered. Areas that don’t usually have a sea front exposure suddenly get the full force of the waves. That’s how Hugo “did it” to Charleston, SC.

    Good luck to everybody on the east coast. We’ll be thinking about you.

  5. #5 Lynn Wilhelm
    August 25, 2011

    I was camping in the NC mountains when Hugo hit. A tree came down close to my tent and the Blue Ridge Pkwy was closed. It was so awful outside when I woke that even my dogs didn’t want to go out to pee!
    That hurricane was supposed to come in toward Raleigh but hit Charleston and Charlotte instead.

    After Fran a child in the school where I was teaching said his neighborhood looked like Jumanji.

  6. #6 Lynn Wilhelm
    August 25, 2011

    Bocopa said:

    Won’t somebody think of the ponies!

    By the way, there are ponies on several of NC’s outer banks islands.
    My daughter is worried about them.